Professional Development: Dr. Thomas Guskey

On August 29 and 30, 2017, all Westwind teachers are attending a training with Dr. Thomas Guskey, Ph.D.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, Dr. Guskey began his career in education as a middle school teacher, served as an administrator in Chicago Public Schools, and was the first Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center. Dr. Guskey served on the Policy Research Team of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, on the Task Force to develop the National Standards for Staff Development, and was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association – one of the Association’s highest honors. He is the author/editor of 21 award-winning books and more than 250 book chapters and articles. His most recent books include On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting (2015), Reaching the Highest Standard in Professional Learning: Data (with P. Roy & V. Von Frank, 2014), Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting (with L. Jung, 2013), Benjamin S. Bloom: Portraits of an Educator (2nd ed., 2012), and Developing Standards-Based Report Cards (with J. Bailey, 2010). He is an engaging presenter who helps bring clarity and resolution to some of education’s most challenging problems.

Having Dr. Guskey come to speak with our teachers is an incredible opportunity and we are delighted to be able to provide this world class training for to our teachers for the benefit of our students. The focus of the time teachers will spend with Dr. Guskey is on standards based grading and reporting. It builds on the foundational teacher practice of skillful formative assessment in the classroom. It will give teachers an opportunity to learn together, examine existing practices, thoughtfully plan our way forward, and purposefully incorporate desired practices into our process of continual improvement. We affirm that the skill set of the classroom teacher is the factor with the greatest impact on student learning.

We are collectively responsible for building the professional capacity of teachers to continuously meet the changing needs of each Westwind student. 


Presentations

Dr. Guskey has given us permission to share the presentations he will be giving to our teachers on our websites so that teachers can reflect on the training afterward. We also invite parents to look at the presentations to get an understanding of what teachers learned about with Dr. Guskey. The presentations Dr. Guskey plans on giving to our teachers are:

  1. Grading & Reporting: Effective Policies and Practices
  2. Developing Standards-based Grading & Reporting Systems
  3. Beyond Assessments For Learning: Assessments That Improve Learning

1. Grading & Reporting: Effective Policies and Practices (link)

This presentation describes what we know about effective policies and practices in grading and reporting. Keeping in mind the challenges faced by teachers, we will review the importance of fairness and honesty in grading and outline strategies for reporting student learning progress that ensure meaningful communication between school and home. Procedures for implementing new reporting structures, including standards-based grading, will be highlighted, together with policies and practices that should be avoided due to their negative consequences for students, teachers, and schools.

Related Books

  • Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2013). Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Principal as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Teacher as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (1997). Implementing Mastery Learning (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

2. Developing Standards-based Grading & Reporting Systems (link)

Effective standards-based grading and reporting requires more than just a new report card. It means reframing all the ways we communicate information about student learning. This presentation describes the development of grading and reporting systems that consider not only report cards but also open-house meetings, email, phone calls, parent-teacher conferences, student-led conferences, and other means of communication between schools and homes. Participants will leave with new understandings about how to open communication pathways that encourage family involvement and facilitate student learning.

Related Books

  • Guskey, T. R. (2015). On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2013). Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R., & Bailey, J. M. (2010). Developing Standards-Based Report Cards.
  • Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (2009). Practical Solutions to Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading.
  • Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (2002). How’s My Kid Doing? A Parents’ Guide to Grades, Marks, and Report Cards. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  • Guskey, T. R., & Bailey, J. M. (2001). Developing Grading and Reporting Systems for Student Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

3. Beyond Assessments For Learning: Assessments That Improve Learning (link)

Using assessments to improve student learning involves more than the administration of “formative” assessments. It requires teachers to make well designed assessments an integral part of the instructional process. This presentation describes how teachers can develop clear learning targets, gather useful information on students’ performance, offer effective feedback to guide improvements in teaching and learning, and then accurately document students’ learning progress. Participants will learn how to use classroom assessments as effective learning tools, how to integrate performance assessments with more traditional assessment methods, how to align assessment procedures with important learning goals, and how these procedures will allow them to better meet the needs of diverse learners.

Related Books

  • Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2013). Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Principal as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (Ed.) (2009). The Teacher as Assessment Leader.Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Guskey, T. R. (1997). Implementing Mastery Learning (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.