Did you know that if you live in New York and you don’t believe high stakes tests are what is best for kids there is a coalition of high schools which have pioneered the creation of educational communities synonymous with active student learning, exemplary professional development and innovative curriculum and teaching strategies for 21st century students? Yep there is. In fact many of the schools and leaders have even been nationally recognized through such honors as New American High Schools, 21st Century Schools, and Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.
These Consortium schools have devised a system of assessment and they document how their work meets and exceeds New York State Regents standards through a system of rigorous commencement-level performance-based assessment tasks. Performance on these tasks is reflected on student transcripts. The tasks require students to demonstrate accomplishment in areas such as analytic thinking, reading comprehension, research writing skills, the application of mathematical computation and problem-solving skills, computer technology, the utilization of the scientific method in undertaking science research, appreciation of and performance skills in the arts, service learning and school to career skills. Experts external to the schools, from universities and the business world, participate in reviews of student work.
You can visit the Member High Schools to discover if there is a school near you. You can find out about schools and programs in other areas at The Coalition of Essential Schools website.