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Matching Public Achievement to school standards

September 27, 2010

The post below was written by Santi Bromley, a 5th grade teacher at Andersen United Community School in Minneapolis, Minn., and an experienced Public Achievement coach and site coordinator. Bromley shares her own experience matching academic standards to skills developed in Public Achievement, and one of the tools she uses to evaluate student progress. These tips should be especially valuable to site coordinators at new Public Achievement sites in public schools around the country.

Making the case for Public Achievement as a valuable learning tool

Fourteen years ago, I went through the main subject areas that I thought Public Achievement would hit hard upon and then specifically listed out matching school standards for Minneapolis Public Schools. Our district now uses new Minnesota standards, which are closely tied to our state tests, but for literacy in intermediate grades we will be referring to core (national standards) over the next few years.

You may be wondering why I’m using an outdated list of standards. First, I haven’t had the time to update it–and no one is volunteering to work on this with or for me! Second, I’m waiting for clarification of standards over these next few years before I begin the update. Third, though the standards list is outdated, these are still the exact same expectations we have for all our students. The list concretely spells out that Public Achievement work is real — and evidence of work done can be seen and directly tied to standards and expectations.

It is important that groups pursuing Public Achievement in school settings match the work to standards. It reminds all students, teachers, administrators, superintendents, and the community that our work is an extremely valuable tool in our learning.

Evaluating Public Achievement in a school setting

Self-evaluation is a part of the reflection process. One reason I developed a pre- and post-evaluation form was to show students in a concrete way that they have developed a variety of skills. I include the form in report cards at the end of Public Achievement to also show families the amazing work students have done.

Another reason I’ve developed an evaluation form is to give coaches or teachers the ability to do an evaluation of the students’ work — either filling it out in a private conference with the student or separately. It’s an option for this additional evaluation to be included in report cards to show a pre- and post-assessment by a coach which can be compared to the self-evaluation. I believe it’s important for coaches or teachers to take the time to give feedback to students about their growth. This shows concretely where you’ve come from, how far you can still go, and how far you’ve gone from someone else’s perspective.

I’ve also made copies of pre- and post-evaluations for the school district as data showing the kind of student growth that has happened through Public Achievement.

Finally, I use the evaluation form with coaches as a tool for their own personal reflection and learning. I’ve used these as evaluations with me as a facilitator observing coaches and having private conferences to discuss growth and areas to work on. I’ll be using this form to train our 6th grade coaches this school year.

I created these materials by being a coach, observing coaches, being a teacher and activist, and using the Public Achievment manual as a tool. These evaluation forms show learning that goes above and beyond school standards — they show work that is needed to be successful in jobs, higher education, and life. What a concept!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 3, 2010 6:57 am

    the public schools on our district can really give some good education to young kids. they have high standards -;`

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