Rep. Suzanne Bonamici visits Lewis and Clark
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici visited Lewis and Clark elementary Wednesday to learn more about the work of the Oregon Education Association’s Quality Assessment Practices (QAP) cadre, a network of teacher leaders advancing the state’s student assessment system to more fully support student learning.
With new techniques students have targets to work towards both in the classroom and at home, and the students also perform self-assessments so the teacher can see how they feel about the material being taught. An example was in second grade teacher Marcy Schaffer’s math class. After going through math problems in front of the class she told the second graders to put down a smiley face on how they felt they did about the targets. She said they could put a happy face if they did well and did it all by themselves without any help. Other teachers may use different systems.
Bonamici attended three classroom visits and also had a round table conversation with Oregon Education Association (OEA) members, mostly teachers, to discuss the core principles of quality assessment processes and how the work being done in St. Helens can be a model for stronger student assessment practices in other schools and districts.
“It really helped me understand that when there are dedicated educators working with students, that meaningful assessments can help students identify their needs to grow and identify what they already know. Engaging students in the process really makes a difference because the students see a relevance in what they are doing,” Bonamici said.
One teacher that has noticed a difference in her students is third grade teacher Kathleen Alexander. “They see relevancy and the point. It’s not just about getting the work done anymore,” Alexander said.
QAP has also been introduced to teachers and schools in Springfield, Medford and Banks. In St. Helens, QAP is being used not only in elementary school but also middle and high school.
OEA are currently building an Oregon assessment community to keep QAP educators connected to each other and to empower their learning and leading in the process.