Alternative Assessment System is Needed to Gauge What Students Really Know

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CMRubinWorld’s new interview with global education thought leader Charles Fadel challenges educators to transform the US assessment system and focus on the most important competencies.

21st Century assessment must change and focus on what we really value, according to global education thought leader Charles Fadel. “Assessment boils down to evidence of learning,” he says. The problem is that important outcomes we should be evaluating in students are, in fact, very “hard to measure” and so these qualities are currently not being assessed.

In a new interview, C.M. Rubin (Founder of CMRubinWorld) focuses on key questions with Fadel, such as, “Is there now a growing momentum for assessment change, and if so, at what stage of the education process should the assessment begin? Do we have evidence of successful case studies? What things should be prioritized for change and how are modern technologies helping to update an antiquated assessment system?”

“Teachers’ and students’ time is wasted as they prepare and take assessments that are just looking to rank students’ performance rather than spending time engaged in authentic learning or working on socio-emotional and other competencies,” says Fadel. “In short, there is too much focus on Knowledge (and not particularly relevant knowledge) and not enough on Skills, Character, and Meta-Learning.”

Fadel believes that the opportunities to make large scale change is now because, “new technologies can help with experimentation and development of more inherently useful tests.” Advancements in technology, he claims, should come with changes in substance as well: "More qualitative data can now be stored and should be leveraged to show evidence of learning that goes deeper than a letter grade or a percentile score."

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Charles Fadel is a global education thought leader, futurist and inventor, and founder and chairman of the Center for Curriculum Redesign. He has worked with education systems and institutions in more than thirty countries. He was formerly Global Education Lead at Cisco Systems, and holds a BSEE, an MBA, and five patents. He is the author of Four-Dimensional Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed.

CMRubinWorld launched in 2010 to explore what kind of education would prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing globalized world. Its award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, is a highly regarded trailblazer in the renaissance of 21st century education, and occupies a widely respected place in the pulse of key issues facing every nation and the collective future of all children. It connects today’s top thought leaders with a diverse global audience of parents, students and educators. Its highly readable platform allows for discourse concerning our highest ideals and the sustainable solutions we must engineer to achieve them. C. M. Rubin has produced over 500 interviews and articles discussing an extensive array of topics under a singular vision: when it comes to the world of children, there is always more work to be done.

For more information on CMRubinWorld, follow @CMRubinWorld on Twitter

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