Performance Assessment Task
Situational Context and Your Role
As part of your search for a teaching position in your field, you are applying to The Linc, a new public high school scheduled to open this Fall. Situated in the Kensington area, it is a “comprehensive” high school, serving students both in the surrounding community and across the city. It emphasizes diversity of just the kinds that we have examined in our course. Students are selected entirely by lottery; there are no minimum requirements for applicants to be accepted. It also emphasizes high academic standards. Curriculum, to be developed by school faculty, will be project-oriented (i.e. using real, or simulated, performance tasks for evaluation) and inquiry-driven, even including student voice and choice in the kinds of inquiry they will do.
Of course, students and teachers in the school will still be subject to Pennsylvania Core Standards and Assessments as a major component of the success of their model. Therefore, the school is especially interested in applicants who can bring expertise to bear on this issue:
How, and to what extent, can we address the learning needs of a diverse student body—similar to that which we have constructed in our case study class—so that all students can develop deep understandings of complex concepts and issues in your field—in an era of high-stakes testing?
Product and Goal
You will submit a 6-8 pg report that places the Back-to-Front planning framework in the context of those principles of differentiation and literacy instruction that our course has emphasized. Your goal is to persuade your audience(s) that these instructional principles can make the back-to-front curriculum framework even more effective in addressing the needs of all students so that they develop deep content understandings.
As evidence of your expertise, appendices at the end of the report will contain the unit plan overview that you have constructed (including, the authentic performance task written to students) and the four reports.
In the body of the report you will explain how an emphasis on literacy and differentiation as we have learned about them through reading and discussion can address the question raised in the final, underlined, sentence of the previous section in these directions.
To reach that goal, your report needs to include the following:
- A brief explanation (1-1.5 pp.) of the major principles driving each of the three frameworks we have learned—back-to-front planning, differentiation, and literacy instruction and an overview of how they work together. This section thus functions as an introduction to Section II: