The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Releases Accreditation Ombudsperson’s Workbook to Build Equipped Schools
New York, NY – (July 9, 2015) – Students’ education needs must incorporate the latest technology and learning approaches. To help schools remain competitive, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released a roadmap that calls for looking at school schedules as well as curriculum, how assessments are used, and how assessments are evaluated.
The process to establish competence-based learning has three primary steps. First, teachers must be trained to make bold steps and new choices within the curriculum and assessment programs. Then, through reviewing with students, parents, and district administrators, they must determine the best methods for measuring and rewarding student progress. Finally, schools should focus on real-life, student-centered curriculum plans that must be implemented.
These processes must shift the emphasis from the assessments themselves, to the outcomes that they produce.
“Too often assessments are designed for one-size-fits-all mandates,” said David Cearley, president of the National Board. “Instead, assessments must be designed with the flexibility of curriculum. They should measure student achievement, assess whether students are on track for future success, determine the appropriateness of their coursework, and enable administrators to more easily measure achievement at each grade level, by level of learning, and by subject matter.”
The Board’s Learning Profile for New Skills, which was developed by the NBPTS Education Design Consultants in collaboration with the National Academy of Educators, expands on the breadth of new skills that teachers need to gain. For example, a common set of skills called the Six Genuine competencies is now part of the Academy’s Core Competencies, the approved competencies in NEET (not in education) surveys for classroom teachers. These competencies include:
Engaging with and for students;
Developing research-based knowledge;
Teaching students practical skills, critical thinking, and team-working;
Facilitating continuous improvement;
Encouraging pedagogical innovation; and
Particularly relevant are the new competencies of “Adaptive Learning” and “Applied Proficiency,” both of which point toward the future. Adaptive Learning will harness the power of technology and apps to motivate students and teach them relevant and hands-on topics. Applied Proficiency will leverage online assessments in a variety of ways, such as collaboration, feedback, and social learning, for the purposes of continuing student learning.
Steps to Design and Improve the School Schedule
To ensure students receive the most effective time for instruction, schools should set learning schedules that match their schools’ missions and learning goals. For example, some schools use almost a third of their time to homework and test preparation for multiple exams.
The NBPTS wrote that homework and testing time for students in the core subjects is often far too short. For a learning plan of 20 minutes a day for each student, such a schedule would allow 25 hours of the day for learning, just enough time for homework and tests.