Giving Compass’ Take:
• Lauren Barack reports that some states are beginning to implement testing methods that assess students’ soft skills — such as communication and work ethic — alongside academic subjects.
• How could these testing methods prepare students for the future of work? How can funders help to scale the use of soft skill assessments?
• Learn more about the importance of teaching students soft skills.
Many educators express a dislike for standardized tests, but only two states so far have opted into a new assessment pilot, which came without extra funding and tougher requirements. Some state officials across the country, however, still believe that newer styles of tests may identify gaps in learning better than the assessments most commonly used today, wrote Education Week.
Kentucky is one state that is trying a new kind of assessment in two of its districts. The tests measure the ability to communicate — a soft skill — alongside academics, including math and reading. Georgia is testing three different styles of assessments, all created by three different districts, that allows teachers to make teaching adjustments mid-year.
The goal is to support students, who often learn at their own pace — and create tests that then assess their unique educational path and progress.
Cookie cutter-style assessments measure students on the same information, and are meant to be a level playing field. But because students don’t all learn the same way, at the same time, at the same pace, some schools are increasing their use of portfolio assessments. They’re also measuring students progress along a learning path, rather than how they did for four hours on a single day in school while filling in bubbles on a computer sheet.
Read the full article about assessing soft skills in students by Lauren Barack at Education Dive.
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