Intention of Evaluation

I am positive we would all agree we probably over-test our students. However, the reality is, we have a thirst for data and evaluation, and it is an ever-growing desire. In the article named “History of Testing in the United States,” the author states, “Large-scale standardized tests have enjoyed more than a century of popularity and growth …. Over time, they have also become controversial …” (Nettles, 2019). Just this past week, we were instructed at my high school to develop and implement a department plan to collect data on our students through an alternative method (not what the district provides through standardized testing and EOC exams).  In the journal article “High-Stakes Testing Hasn’t Brought Education Gains,” the author states, “over-tested climate for the sake of producing data that confirms what everyone already knows: Their schools lack the needed supports” (Dianis et al., 2015). This indeed emphasizes the concern that we know what we are doing, but we are ill-equip to make the necessary changes.

Ironically, most departments at my high school were quite frazzled by this data collection request. Fortunately, last year, I had required all my Business Education and Practical Arts teachers to utilize an online program called Socrative. This program provides student statistics on varying aspects of tests and quizzes that a teacher creates. Online resources like this one, are one of many that are available to educators at every level.

Still, we know testing is necessary, at times complicated, and challenging to implement. How do we find time actually to teach? Well, of course, we do. But what if we could change how we as educators evaluate our students. After reviewing the video, “Evaluation” the author emphasizes, “The act of giving feedback following the analysis of a process, accomplishment or combination thereof” is the fundamental meaning of evaluation (Lalande, 2014). We agree we need it, and we know there could potentially be another way to evaluate and engage with our students. Furthermore, the author of this video goes on the reiterate all the typical ways students are tested and retested, but he also mentions if we were able to test students with open-access technology, we could develop new pathways of evaluation and student feedback. Finally, the author mentions how technology would “Force” educators to figure-out innovate ways to test students (Lalande, 2014). These new ways have not been invented yet, but it is exciting to think it is a possibility.


Dianis, J. B., Jackson, J. J., & Noguera, P. (2015). High-Stakes Testing Hasn’t Brought Education Gains. Phi

Delta Kappan Vol. 97 p. 35-37

Lalande, Marc-André (2014). Evaluation.

Retrieved from

Nettles, Michael T. (2019). History of Testing in the United States. The ANNALS of the American Academy of

Political and Social Science, Vol. 683, Iss. 1, pp. 38-55. 

What Great Leaders Actually DO

The role of a leader in a school can come in many forms. One would think school administrators would arrive with years of diverse and dynamic leadership experiences and skills. But this is not likely the case. After 22 years of teaching at two different urban high schools, I have seen how leadership styles can change drastically over the years. Many times, school site administrators are just simply trying their best to implement what their districts vision commands or how the school site can best align itself with the district’s agenda.

Specifically, enlisting input from teachers would certainly demonstrate buy-in among staff members, however, to what extent would staff have real input. The envision of a school is always created by the principal and their administrative team and it is the staff that implements that vision. As mentioned in the article “Leadership vision as a moral duty,” the authors state, it is “The duty of leaders is to serve their organizations, its stakeholders, and a society that badly needs great leaders who have vision, commitment to excellence, and a clear moral compass – despite the risks of not being appreciated (Ndalamba, Caldwell and, Anderson 2018, p. 316). Principals desire their staff to buy-in to their vision for the school year. This is not to say, we as teachers will not implement the principal’s vision. We just would like to share our thoughts, voices, and desires so that we are part of the process.

Furthermore, as heard in the video, “What Great Leaders Actually DO” the announcer eloquently states, “I think the most important leadership lesson in the world is that people support what they create” (Burchard, 2014). Enlisting input is certainly a sound management style. Most of the time stakeholders just want to be heard. As mentioned in the article “Substitutes for leadership: alternative perspectives,” the authors state, it is “when employees are encouraged to seek new ways of doing work, they feel that they are valued, engage with the firm and develop an emotional bond with the organization (Hussain, et al. 2015). After many years of teaching and being a leader at my school for the past five years, when you feel valued – you perform at a higher level, and your students rise to your level.

In conclusion, one of my administrative mentors once said to me “Always do what’s best for the school, first.” It took a while for it to sink in, actually, almost a full year. As teachers we are so linearly focused on our classrooms, our subjects, our students and ourselves – we do not always have the big picture in mind. Consequently, there is a huge weight on principals today, their leadership decisions affect the livelihoods of their staff, safety of their stakeholders, the learning outcomes of their students and have an impact on their school community; hence, what’s best for the school is the mandate – despite the risks of not being appreciated (Ndalamba, Caldwell and, Anderson 2018, p. 316).


Burchard, Brendon (2014). What Great Leaders Actually DO.

Retrieved from

Hussain, G., Wan Ismail, W., Rashid, M., & Nisar, F., (2016). Substitutes for leadership:

alternative perspectives. Management Research Review, Vol. 39, Iss. 5, 546-568.

Ndalamba, K. K., Caldwell, C., & Anderson, V. (2018) Leadership vision as a moral duty.

Journal of Management Development Vol. 37 Iss. 3, 309-319.

PERIOD 5: SENIORS ONLY – InVest Scholarship due 3/14/19

  1. There are 23 seniors in period 5, of those two students two will be selected to obtain a $500 scholarship for either college or insurance certification
  2. The two winners will be announced at the senior awards night
  3. Please go to this web site at
  4. Select the first red box on the left, then download and complete the application
  5. Then write your 500 word essay by answering the provided question. Your teacher will proof your essay.
  6. Obtain two (2) recommendations (sorry, one can not be from Mr. Pizzo)
  7. Everything is due by 3/14/19 and it is a required, graded activity for all seniors

The Drum Major Instinct

Sermon Delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church By Martin Luther King Jr.

February 4, 1968, Atlanta, Ga.

Each student shall review the sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. You can select to read the sermon using the link below or listen to the audio using your personal ear-buds (26 Minutes).

After you have read the sermon, please answer these three questions in paragraph form and create three more on your own with answers.

Please type your replies and print them in class.

1) How does Dr. King relate James and John to everyone else?

2) According to Dr. King, what happens when you don’t harness the Drum Major Instinct?

3) Why does Dr. King call death life’s final “Common Denominator”?