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School Ditches Standardized Tests, Becomes National Model

Kentucky Schools Develop Standardized Testing Alternative

Formerly on the state "watch list" because of low test scores, Bate Middle School in Danville, KY, was designated an “Exemplar School” by the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills, thanks to its move away from standardized tests and toward performance-based assessment.

The yearly grind of prepping for weeks for state tests is over for now. Bate Principal Amy Swann told it's making a big difference in what teachers do every day, especially in their ability to tailor instruction to each student's needs and interests.

Bate's Performance-Based Assessments (PBATs) require students to study something they care about while learning academic skills. The assessments also address skills such as presentation, communication, and teamwork that are essential in the workplace.

A PBAT consists of a 20-minute solo presentation with PowerPoint or video as well as a 15-page research paper that the student hands in to a panel of judges. Those judges include teachers from various grades, officials from neighboring districts, University of Kentucky education students and fellow students.

Read the full story. 

Article by Navindra Persaud, EducationWorld Contributor

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