Plan Your Professional Development for 15-16!

ATLC listserv
If you are not already subscribed to the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Community (ATLC) listserv, sign up here!  This listserv is the primary method the office of Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) disseminates information about events of interest to faculty and staff in our Washington State CTC system, including our Fall and Winter retreats, the new 15-16 Systems Biology Workshop Series, state-wide conversations about issues of importance such as “Standing in the Gap” and “English 101 as ‘Next Space,’” and our Bridge to College English (BCTE) Course Refinement and Development Meetings.

SBCTC Professional Learning Calendar
This google calendar is regularly updated with all of the professional learning opportunities offered by our agency, including the annual Best Practices event, eLearning’s popular Open Educational Resources (OER) training and Introduction to Canvas for Faculty, and other trainings such as Bootcamps for Professional Technical Instructors.

ATL Blog
If you follow Jen Whetham’s Blog, you can find out how to join a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on hybrid instruction and read meditations on hot topics like Standardized Testing by Bill Moore.  Jen also posts opportunities that fund faculty travel and participation in national projects—like this invitation to participate in an assignment charrette in New Orleans.  Sometimes Jen will even ask for help when she is preparing for an event!

Spring ATL Conference
Save the Dates: May 4-6, 2016
Our annual spring conference brings together educators to broaden their understanding of teaching, relate effective learning practices, and exchange insights, methods, and strategies that promote and support student learning.  This year the keynote is the leading authority on communities of practice, social learning theorists and consultants Etienne and Bev Wegner-Trayner.

FLC Grants
Read about the FY 15-16 FLC grant recipients here!  A faculty learning community (FLC) is a group of educators (faculty, administrators, professional staff) who collaboratively design and then implement a structured, intensive, year-long professional learning experience for its members. Together, the community builds a curriculum of study that engages complex problems and focuses around the members’ individual and collective teaching and learning.  To support system-wide professional learning related to instruction and innovation, the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning and Open Education departments of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) invites faculty, staff, and administrators to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to fund Faculty Learning Communities.  Applications for FY 16-17 will be available in March 2016.

As usual, Jen welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions!  Contact her at jwhetham@sbctc.edu

Seattle Times Article About SBCTC Year 12 Math Course

Photo by Eric Jacobs for The Seattle Times

Photo by Eric Jacobs for The Seattle Times

The Education Lab Blog, a “yearlong project to spark meaningful conversation about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest,” just published an article about an exciting project we are working on here at SBCTC.

Read “New Course Can Help Vault Students into College-Level Math” to find out more about the college readiness math course we are creating to help foster meaningful alignment between high school and community college curriculum.

The goals of developing and making this “Year 12” course available statewide are to

  • Provide more high school students with a clear opportunity to avoid remediation and placement testing when they enter college
  • Improve curricular alignment between K-12 and entry-level college courses
  • Increase the understanding of key elements of Common Core State Standards for high school teachers and college faculty
  • Develop and/or sustain local college/school district partnerships with a particular emphasis on faculty/teacher collaboration

We are also working on a senior year college readiness English course.

Questions?  Please contact Bill Moore at bmoore@sbctc.edu

Recommend Achievement Levels for SB Interim and Summative Assessments

Smarter Balanced LogoThe Smarter Balanced Assessment (SB) Consortium seeks Washington State

  • K–12 teachers and higher education faculty,
  • K-12 and higher education administrators,
  • parents,
  • business/community leaders

to participate in an online panel to establish consistent measures of progress for the SB interim and summative assessments.

Recommend a rigorous, fair, and accurate college readiness achievement level on the 11th grade assessment based on your professional judgment and your experience.

Click Here to Register for the Online Panel

On the registration site, you will

  1. choose the grade and content area (English language arts/literacy or mathematics) and grade in which you want to participate;
  2. provide an email address, role, and demographic information;
  3. verify your email;
  4. select a 2-day window (between October 6 and 17, 2014) for participation.

SB estimates that each session will take up to 3 hours.

Registrations must be submitted online by September 19, 2014!

Bill Moore SBCTCQuestions?  Please contact Bill Moore, Director of Core to College Alignment at the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC): 360.704.4346 or e-mail at bmoore@sbctc.edu

Please forward this e-mail to any colleagues who you think might be interested in this work; it is important to have as many participants as possible, from as many backgrounds as possible, provide these recommendations.

Give Your Feedback on the DRAFT Recommendations for Smarter Balanced 11th Grade Assessment

Please read and provide feedback (see below for two ways to do so) on the DRAFT recommendations for use of the Smarter Balanced 11th Grade Assessment.

A cross-sector work group representing a variety of key education stakeholder groups convened in early November to draft system recommendations regarding the use of the Smarter Balanced 11th grade assessment as an indicator of college readiness in the placement process for post-secondary institutions in Washington.  Although the Smarter Balanced 11th grade assessment is NOT a placement test, these recommendations are intended to be incorporated into the ongoing system-wide efforts to provide students with multiple/alternative measures for placement.

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Common Core: Gerald Graff Versus Diane Ravitch?

Many of you are probably familiar with (and perhaps have partaken in) the heated conversations occurring on the state and national level about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Particularly resonant to my own situation is that the “Common Core Yields Odd Political Allegiances“: the article title I invoked in the previous clause begins with this line– “To say that new academic standards have yielded strange bedfellows would be an understatement.”

However, I am concerned that, as usual, the national discourse about CCSS reduces the complexity of these tensions to the equivalent of twin (albeit opposing) Facebook status updates– one to which we respond “like” or “dislike” without much further research or thought.

At the risk of reducing a complex issue to a simplistic “Good Thing/Bad Thing” binary (If you watch the clip, I love it when Jon Stewart says, “Good thing or bad thing?  Let’s go to our analyst, Flippy the Coin!” and I am always horrified anew when the reporter cuts off a sophisticated financial analysis with an unbelievably snide “Can you just say if that’s a good thing or a bad thing?”), I think it’s worth noting that two remarkably fine minds and scholars have both produced coherent arguments regarding their opposing stances on the Common Core– Diane Ravitch and Gerald Graff.

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