Updates on Ed THings that sparked an interest

David Volkman


Executive Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)

What is the purpose of assessments? What do they look like in the state of PA? What kind of innovations might we look for in developing assessments? Still have three levels of achievement - advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic What are we going to do with our low priority schools (5 - 10%)

Comprehensive Planning (lowest 5%)

Targeted Assistance (subgroup who is performing at the lowest 5% of the students)

Office of School Improvement - A division totally devoted to school improvement

Standards with students with disabilities

ELL have to be accounted within our subgroups

Developing and supporting educators and school leaders

Supplement not Supplant (TITLE 1)

School and community linkages

New opportunities for well rounded education and Title 9

No changes

Standards (rigor/challenging)

Annual Assessments (Grades 3 - 8 Science, Math, and ELA)

Accountability and transparency (Data Reporting - not designating schools as failing but improving)

Requirements to improve low-performing schools 47% - 50% poor families in PA - a major issue


Shorter assessments trade-offs to get there

Local decision-making in formative assessment (giving it multiple times with real time feedback instead of once a year)

Real Time results to inform educators/school leaders about instructional gaps/trends and student improvement; align curriculum (get back to making instructional decisions and choices)

Detailed results on student performance in real time instead of post mortem results months after taking the test

Why is most of the testing measured by multiple choice? All multiple choice testing is cheaper

How do we begin to measure interpersonal skills

Teacher Education Preparation

8 times more likely to have a non-certified teachers teach kids in the city vs. suburban schools

If we do not fully understand the contexts in which teachers are teaching, teachers will continue to burn out and leave the field of education within five years

60% drop of enrollment for college students to pursue a degree in education

Current silo-based approach not working

Need to foster better collaboration and establish equitable access to education.

Equitable Access 71% Caucasian 29% minorities (another ten years our minority population will increase by 45% - 55%

96% of our teachers are white

We don’t do a good job of mentoring people into the field or in the field

Educator Effectiveness

Move away from 50 % observation 50% student growth

80% observation 20% SVP

Collaboration and Peer Supports

Act 82 and School Performance Profile are fossilized bills/laws/regulations have to change first

50 hours of Act 48 from one cycle to next you have to get in the last two years

Key Take Aways

Taking our time with PSSA (legislature is done for the year)

Status Quo on state testing (nothing real exciting happening to change it)

Chapter 18 - Tech assistant for school districts with less than 7500 students

The darkest moments in our lives offer us the brightness we are granted so much of the time as educators
Stay in touch with our own humanity. Be present - regardless of where we are or who we are because our duty as humans is to support each other.
"We are all islands in a common sea"


Created with images by Pexels - "blur bokeh book" • albertogp123 - "Exam" • joaogbjunior - "money salary coins" • geralt - "learn school hands" • ponce_photography - "crayons coloring book coloring" • mrsdkrebs - "2012-240 #6WordMission" • rosco57 - "Xroads - Zen Garden U2 coverband" • Julia Velkova - "Islands"

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