I attended a 'scoring event' today. Yep, that's right - a scoring event. I know you're jealous, but don't hate.
Today was the day to turn in the portfolio assessments on those students who (for various reasons) do not participate in standard SOL testing each year. I had one to complete, and (as described elsewhere in this blog) it was not a fun process. Anyway, the Commonwealth leaves it up to the local systems to score the portfolios. That means that all the teachers in the county who put together a portfolio of work on a student for assessment have to participate in the scoring of same.
So, our local testing guy (who happens to be pretty cool) decided we would all go to his house to score portfolios. There were 5 of us (not including Justin, the testing guy), scoring a dozen or so portfolios. Each portfolio has to be scored twice (and you can't score your own), and the scores have to agree. If they don't agree for any section, then you have to fight it out with the other scorer. Fun. Not.
I've done scoring of this type of assessment before, so I'm pretty familiar with what needs to be done. Basically, you have to look at the standard, then match up the evidence presented with that standard. Does it fit? Did the student show mastery of that standard as evidenced by the work/photo/video/whatever included? Each standard is rated from 1 - 4 (4 being the highest). Good deal - shouldn't be a problem. EXCEPT - we got derailed by language and semantics. One standard for math skills states that the student will sort and classify according to size, shape, color, and thickness. What's the difference between sort and classify? I'm a pretty smart person - I thought I knew this. Apparently not. Before it was over, we had out 2 dictionaries and a thesaurus!
You tell me - if you have pictures of a student sorting silverware, blocks by color, coasters by shape, and paintbrushes by thickness of bristles, is s/he also demonstrating the concept of classifying?
Yeah, I'm not so sure now, either. We actually spent quite a bit of time arguing this point. In the end, we compromised, and decided to agree to disagree.
I have a headache.