February 27 Is the Early Registration Deadline for Next Month's CCCC Annual Convention
News & Ideas  

Assessing Literacy Learning

2015 NCTA Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop

Parents, Teachers Opting In to "Opt Out"
The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 16, 2015 

Time to Shift the Debate on Standardized Testing
NCTE member Scott Filkins writes.  Literacy & NCTE blog, February 20, 2015

What Teachers Are Saying about Formative Assessment and Professional Learning
More from Scott Filkins.  Literacy in Learning Exchange, February 12, 2015

Formative assessment resources are being shared and conversations are occurring actively in Using Evidence to Guide Teaching and Learning -- Spring 2015 Cohort and Word Study for Greater Academic Achievement from the Literacy in Learning Exchange.

Latest from the Assessment Storytelling Project
Matt, who teaches low-performing students at a rural, under-resourced college, talks about why he believes "standardized testing should never be used as the sole determinant of anything: We administer the COMPASS test to incoming students who haven't taken the ACT. Several students originally scored very low on the exam. But when I sat down with them for 30 minutes and explained comma rules, they retook the test and every one of them scored in the 90s percentile. That indicates to me that the test is a poor measure of the writing skills but an excellent measure of their knowledge of comma rules. Literacy should never be equated with grammar skills."

Assessment Story Project 2015

There is still time to give us your assessment story!

Listen to Kathleen Blake Yancey, chair of the NCTE Task Force on Assessment and former NCTE president, talk about "The NCTE Assessment Story Project: What Teachers Tell Us about Assessment's Impact on Learning" on Education Talk Radio, Wednesday, March 4, 10:30 a.m. ET.

What Does It Look Like to Assess Literacy Learning in Your Classroom? 
If you haven't shared your perspective for the NCTE Assessment Story Project, please do. And check out some pictures of literacy assessment shared by our members. If you're willing to share your work publicly, please send images with a brief explanation to @nctegram.  Literacy & NCTE blog, February 24, 2015

Also from the Assessment Storytelling Project
Tziri, who teaches in a 9-12 urban school, notes,
"Portfolio assessment really helps me to get an inside look into my students' learning. I believe that if more people understood the benefits of authentic assessment and the terrible costs of standardized, high-stakes assessment, we could effectively transform education and the learning experience in our school. I think that cumulative portfolio assessment can and should be used in our school across the board. I also think that students should be more involved in their own assessment."

Why Grading Student Writing Takes So Much Time (for Me, Anyway)
Inside Higher Ed, February 18, 2015 

Advocating for Literacy

#nctechat March 15, 2015

Join NCTE Past President Ernest Morrell (@ernestmorrell) and NCTE Director of Policy Research and Development Darren Cambridge (@dcambrid) on #nctechat on Sunday, March 15, at 8:00 p.m. ET, to explore the question, "What does it mean to advocate for literacy?"

Literacy Education Advocacy Day, March 5, Washington, DC
It's not too late to register!

Participants will ask members of Congress to

Fund and encourage assessments for learning and innovation in assessment for accountability.

Dedicate funding for comprehensive literacy programs and for professional learning.

Build the capacity of high-needs schools.

Watch next week’s INBOX for how you can be involved from home.

Saving School Choice without Undermining Poor Communities
The Atlantic, February 14, 2015 

More Conflict over Cutting Federal Role in Education
The New York Times, February 24, 2015 

Making Literacy Live

African American Read-In

Toward the End of African American Read-In Month

Making Black Voices Visible and Supporting Them
See the video and photos.  The Herald News, February 19, 2015

Ninth Annual African American Read-In Held at UNI
See the photos from the event.  Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, February 20, 2015

How 3 Educators Use Tech to Teach History
SmartBlog on Education, SmartBrief, February 16, 2015

Looking toward Read Across America Day on March 2

Get Ready to Celebrate Read Across America Day!
Literacy & NCTE blog, February 23, 2015 

When celebrating this day and the 25th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go, broaden the book choices for students as the Resolution on the Need for Diverse Children's and Young Adult Books recommends.  

Watch this inspiring Freedom to Read Week video made by Calgary Science School's Julia and Danika, who won the Calgary Public Library Teen Freedom to Read Week Video contest.

Crayola for Teachers

"Precocious Knowledge: Using Banned Books to Engage in a Youth Lens"
NCTE member Alyssa D. Niccolini writes.  English Journal, January 2015

Wes Moore shares a letter he wrote in response to his book, The Other Wes Moore.

Talking about Boys and Learning
NCTE member Ezra Hyland speaks.

A Fight to the End Paper: SLJ’s Battle of the Kids' Books 2015
School Library Journal, February 10, 2015

Right Book, Right Reader, Right Time
NCTE member Teri Lesesne is the woman who LOVES YA literature.  The Council Chronicle, March 2012

Thinking about College Level Composition and Communication

English 101 vs. English 102

Inside Higher Ed, February 15, 2015

2015 CCCC Annual Convention

Register for the 2015 CCCC Annual Convention and attend one of the many sessions that deal with this topic: C.33 Starting Again: Re-Imagining the Role of FY Writing in the General Education Curriculum.

Note that the advance registration deadline for the CCCC Convention is Friday, February 27. Register now to take advantage of discounted registration rates! "Risk and Reward" takes place March 18-21 in Tampa, Florida.

Can't attend in person? Connect digitally! The convention hashtag is #4C15. Follow CCCC on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Download the mobile app and use the discussions feature to chat with attendees in sessions. Presenters are also uploading session materials to the Connected Community.


March 22: Join the Elementary Section on Twitter

In the current climate of public education in the United States, what topics do you want to advocate for in your literacy practices? What are your concerns as you strive to provide excellent literacy practices for your students? How might your representatives on the Elementary Section Steering Committee provide support and guidance? Join the steering committee members on Twitter using #nctelem @ncte on Sunday, March 22, 8-9 p.m. (ET), to pursue this conversation. We look forward to your participation!

Featured Career

NCTE Career Opportunities page

Check out this featured position from NCTE's Career Opportunities page! All can browse, and posting open positions is free to NCTE members.

Director, Bay Area Writing Project (UC Berkeley)
Recruitment Period:  Open January 26, 2015 through March 2, 2015
Description:  The Graduate School of Education (GSE), University of California, Berkeley, seeks applications for a Director of the Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP) (50%) and Lecturer in the GSE’s Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) Area (50%) with an expected start date of July 1, 2015.

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts