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State Assessment Requirements and the CSTA Resources

How have you used the resources on the CSTA website? Have you read the new reports? Are you familiar with the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards? The crosswalks to other standards and skills? I think it is important to familiarize yourself with these resources as you never know when you will need them or when you can use them to advocate.

Just recently, I have had to rely heavily on the CSTA standards and the crosswalks. Ohio has created a new teacher evaluation piece that is directly tied to student achievement. For that piece teachers have to give pretests, write a student learning objective (SLO) for the class based on pretest results, and then give a post test at the end of the course. Your student growth results from that posttest are 50% of your teacher evaluation. The SLO piece must tie to the common core, state and/or national standards. Armed with the computer science standards and the crosswalks I was able to show relevance for what I do in my classroom. I also showed relevance to other teachers because what I do also relates to the common core.

This process required me to relate each pretest question or a section of the pretest directly to standards. Consequently, when the test was completed I was able to show what standards the students were not proficient with. As part of the SLO I had to address how I will bring the students to a level of proficiency. If I had not had the resources from CSTA I would still be combing through other standards trying to find something to use.

As a secondary result of matching the standards to test questions, I realized I was focusing a little too much in one area and maybe not enough in another. I was able to take a look at the overall view of my class, what I was teaching, and evaluate my content. It was a valuable experience to reevaluate what I am doing and why. Sometime we get so bogged down with the daily things and the other school requirements we forget to see the overall goal of our courses.

If you are thinking, "well that is great but it doesn't apply to me" you may want to think again. This type of evaluation system is being piloted and considered in several states. Ohio is not the first and will not be the last. One of my favorite quotes about education is "there are three things to remember when teaching: know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly" (Lola May). Given the current direction of education in the U.S.; I would say we must now add "prove your stuffing worthy" and because of the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards I can do just that.

Stephanie Hoeppner
CSTA Board 9-12 Representative

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