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Accurate Testing: What Educators Can Learn from Dr. Fauci for Fall 2020

April 13, 2020

When done right, testing is incredibly valuable We’ve all heard more about the value of accurate, reliable testing in the last four weeks than at any point in our collective lifetimes. The crystal clear message from trusted scientists: Testing is essential to evaluate and address current conditions. The only thing worse than not testing is inaccurate testing. Accurate, ongoing testing is essential as circumstances change. The same rules of evidence that apply in medicine apply in educational testing. And in Fall 2020 more than ever, educational testing will be critical to help students and teachers address learning gaps. Regardless of your views about the value of end-of-year high stakes tests, the evidence is clear that formative assessments will be the only path to overcoming the… Read More

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Every Child Who Needs a Test Can Get a Test

April 12, 2020

We’ve been flooded with emails about Mindprint over the last few weeks How is this different from academic testing? Is my school doing this or should I be doing this at home? What are the benefits? We greatly appreciate your interest and decided to write a new “Dr. Fauci-inspired” Q & A to answer the most common questions about cognitive testing and provide what we expect is a relatable analogy. How is Cognitive Testing similar to Corona Testing? Think of your current achievement tests (e.g. MAP, STARR, iREADY,  PARCC, state assessments) as the swab test. The swab test confirms if you have corona at a single point in time. Similarly, achievement tests confirms what a student knows (or doesn’t) at a moment in time. And just… Read More

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How to Help Stressed Out Students

October 17, 2019

If you are working in a high performing school, you probably know all too well that you have a lot of stressed out students. Still, you might be startled by new research that classifies students in high performing schools as having the same level of risk for serious mental health problems as students living in poverty, foster care or who have an incarcerated parent. There’s no magic bullet for addressing the complex set of societal issues that has gotten us to this point. Programs for social-emotional learning (SEL) and suicide prevention can help. Structured programming will take time and fidelity. Clearly, there’s no time to lose. Here’s a potential “quick win” that could make a big difference for stressed out students,… Read More

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10 Learning Traits that Drive Academic Outcomes

June 21, 2019

The following is a brief summary of the learning traits that drive most academic learning. Everyone has their own unique combination of these traits, just as we all have our own unique fingerprint. It’s what makes each of us special but can also make learning confusing or challenging at times.   The 10 skills are organized in four key domains. Click on the links for more in-depth information on each skill. Complex Reasoning Complex reasoning is the ability to analyze information and solve complicated problems. When students use reasoning skills, they are thinking through ideas in a logical way to arrive at a conclusion. This is often referred to as “higher order thinking.” Don’t be surprised if you have a student who is strong in one area of… Read More

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Summer Assignment: Foster Creativity

June 2, 2019

If you read one education book this summer, consider Alan Lightman’s In Praise of Wasting Time. If it strikes too close to home, you’re not alone. Lightman articulates what many of us are feeling. That our very wired, very stressful lives are driven by a pervasive feeling of #FOMO (fear of missing out). We feel we need to be purposeful (or at least seen to be) every minute of every day. And it’s exhausting. The Joy of Doing Nothing Lightman begins with a vivid reflection on his childhood, as he describes, his “careless, wasteless hours at the pond.”  He makes us wistful for the joy of doing nothing.  While Lightman mourns that loss, at least he has memories. His concern is that today’s kiddos won’t… Read More

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