ELA Building Blocks



As the teams set out to work smarter versus harder, they realized that there were many holes and questions in determining what a writing rubric looked like at each grade level (see above). Also in question, was the level of math fact memorization expectation at each grade level (see math building block model). In other words, the benchmarks needed clarification and refining. A recent article, from the December 2008 issue of the Educational Leadership magazine is an example of our problem the leadership team was faced with. Barton and Coley’s article amplified the problem of looking at data in isolation or chunks, versus seeing the whole data picture:

It’s an old story. A group of blind people wants to know what an elephants looks like. One feels the elephant’s trunk, another a leg, and another the tail. The first concludes that the elephant is like a snake, the second like a tree, and the third like a rope. It’s impossible to get an accurate image of the whole elephant by examining only a few of its parts. This story illustrates the problem of getting a fix on student achievement. Like the elephant, the subject of student achievement is big. A few pieces of data can give an incomplete picture—or worse, a misleading one. (p. 30)

Barton, P. & Coley, R. (2008, December). Measuring the achievement elephant. Educational Leadership,66(4), 30-34.