Certica recently had the privilege of being invited to participate in the Mastery Leadership Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, hosted by MasteryConnect, a Certica partner and distributor of the Navigate Item Bank™. Over the course of three days, principals, instructional coaches, academic deans, literacy facilitators, and superintendents from across the country gathered to take a deep look at how their schools use assessment data. Trenton Goble, a former principal and the chief academic officer and co-founder of MasteryConnect, challenged the attendees to take a hard look at their use of data. “Every time we ask students to take an assessment, it costs them something: instructional time, energy, and possibly causes them some level of anxiety. So, what are we doing with the data our students are giving us? Are we actually using it, or merely collecting it?”
MasteryConnect encouraged Institute attendees to consider the difference between platform training and thought leadership. Long-time patrons of MasteryConnect’s data and assessment platform do not succeed because teachers know how to push the right buttons and utilize the right features; enduring success is fostered by leadership that introduces a product training but then stays in the room to participate, or sits shoulder-to-shoulder with a group of teachers to discuss the results of a formative assessment.
So how can the Institute attendees bring this sort of thought leadership and camaraderie back to jobs that already take more hours than there are in a day? “Being a principal is like holding a glass of water in front of you. It doesn’t seem like a great burden, but because you cannot ever put it down, it becomes an overwhelming challenge.” Todd Theobald, the 2017 Utah Elementary School Principal of the Year, offered this analogy before outlining several simple, practical challenges that attendees could apply upon returning to their schools.
Certica is proud to partner with MasteryConnect by offering the Navigate Item Bank, the largest collection of flexible, modular, and expertly-developed K-12 formative assessment items. Educators who build formative assessments with the high-quality items found in the Navigate Item Bank can focus their time and energy on the most important part of formative assessment: using the data to benefit the students who give it to us.