This memo, which is the seventh in the series, features an interview with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Originally planned as a piece analyzing the long-term work of the school, this memo was redesigned to feature an interview highlighting how the school rapidly responded to the changing education environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two Rivers, a Tier One, high-performing EL Education School (Expeditionary Learning School), has a mission to "nurture a diverse group of students to become lifelong, active participants in their own education, develop a sense of self and community, and become responsible and compassionate members of society." When the COVID-19 crisis hit, the community of educators used this mission to guide their creation of a distance education program.
The full memo situates the interview in the context of the Assessment for Learning Project and the long-term work of the Two Rivers network of schools. The interview itself highlights how the values of connection, core content, and curiosity/creativity became most important as they adjusted their long-term work to fit into the new and shifting world created by the pandemic.
The Assessment for Learning Project (ALP) is a multi-year grant program and field-building initiative designed to fundamentally rethink the roles that assessment can and should play to advance student learning and improve K-12 education in the United States. If assessment is to become a lever for improving individual students’ opportunities and capacities to learn, then assessment must also become a lever for achieving more equitable education outcomes because it is not possible to achieve excellence without equity.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.