By Trevor Havard, College of Education intern

Gotch-80PULLMAN, Wash. – To help ease the frustration of Oregon teachers with classroom assessment requirements, Washington State University’s Chad Gotch teamed up with the Oregon Department of Education to speak with teachers and administrators about using assessments to document student growth.

Approximately 300 teachers and administrators attended the statewide professional learning team conferences where Gotch, a clinical assistant professor in the WSU College of Education, spoke in February and March.

“I’m very proud of the initial positive responses from the individuals in attendance,” he said. “I was pleased to hear compliments about the way we broke things down and gave teachers some much needed clarity about these issues.”

This year, Oregon’s teacher evaluation system has made documenting student growth through classroom assessments a requirement as part of Oregon’s No Child Left Behind waiver.

However, many teachers have expressed frustration and anxiety with the lack of training and with the fact that they will be evaluated, in part, based on their ability to perform these documentations.

Gotch is part of WSU’s Learning and Performance Research Center, which does a lot of work on student achievement and assessment.

“I hope that through these conferences teachers and administrators begin to see how assessment can be used productively to enhance instruction and teacher evaluation,” Gotch said. “I hope this is a step toward remedying inappropriate uses and contexts around student assessments.”

He anticipates ongoing involvement with Oregon teachers and administrators.