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Rolling the Elephant Over

How to Effect Large-Scale Change in the Reporting Process

While much has been written about alternative approaches to curriculum and assessment, few educational systems have implemented districtwide reporting systems that reflect these developments. Rolling the Elephant Over documents the experiences of one school district that attempted to do just that, offering some valuable lessons from two key participants.

As the Tucson Unified School District made the shift from fact based curricula and norm-referenced testing toward an emphasis on higher-order thinking skills and performance-based assessment, it became evident that their traditional report...

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While much has been written about alternative approaches to curriculum and assessment, few educational systems have implemented districtwide reporting systems that reflect these developments. Rolling the Elephant Over documents the experiences of one school district that attempted to do just that, offering some valuable lessons from two key participants.

As the Tucson Unified School District made the shift from fact based curricula and norm-referenced testing toward an emphasis on higher-order thinking skills and performance-based assessment, it became evident that their traditional report card was no longer viable. Clarridge and Whitaker's challenge was to coordinate the design and implementation of a new elementary progress report that would provide not only a more consistent and equitable measure of student progress across an extremely diverse district, but also promote better communication among parents, students, and teachers.

Rolling the Elephant Over takes the reader through the entire process, from the development and field testing of the prototype to its widespread implementation--and all of the successes and pitfalls along the way. The authors explain their staff development and support initiatives and suggest strategies for managing the often conflicting demands of parents, teachers, and administrators. Included are samples of the rubrics, standards, reporting formats, and survey tools they developed.

The experiences documented here provide a road map for any educator or administrator interested in changing what was once considered the most visible and valued form of communication in the educational system--the report card.

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