On Standardized Testing

Jennifer Locke Whetham:

I turn to my boss, Bill Moore, for wisdom and complexity. The current polarized debate over standardized testing is rife with misunderstanding, assumptions, and inaccurate conflations. It can be hard to navigate all those threads and discern the truth, and I trust Bill to help me to do that– it’s why he’s been my mentor for the past decade. In this blog post, he delivers, with his usual grace and clarity, a compelling reading of the recent segment by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight.  In particular, he muses on a potential connection between the parents who refuse to have their children take the Smarter Balanced Assessment (the “opt-out” movement) and the parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated.

Originally posted on Moore's Musings:

My friend and colleague Jen Whetham sent me a note recently, along with a link to a segment from John Oliver’s HBO series, Last Week Tonight, with these comments:

“So my feelings about this piece are complex.  Clearly, John Oliver is brilliant—particularly the repetition of “here comes the monkey.”  And it’s poignant . . . the section about the testing booklets coming with instructions about what to do if a student vomits on them makes my heart hurt, as does the young woman who cries during the testimony of her experience.  And, of course, Nathan Hale’s [High school, in Seattle] juniors are mentioned, as is the search for graders on Craig’s List.

I feel like a lot of folks will watch this (and probably send it to me) and consider it the last word on SmarterBalanced and as further evidence to conflate their opposition to standardized testing in general…

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FREE Teaching and Learning Conference at Bellevue College!

Faculty Commons @ Bellevue College
ALL faculty, staff, and students

to attend the FREE
1st Annual Teaching & Learning Conference

May 30th, 2015, 9:00am – 3:30pm
Bellevue College, room D104

Click here to Register Now!

Join us as we host a dynamic group of guest speakers, workshops, and the opportunity to discuss teaching and learning.
Our workshops and discussion include some of today’s key topics in education:

Inclusive teaching
Curriculum development
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

FREE breakfast and lunch will be provided!

Questions?  Please Contact

Sayumi Irey, Ph.D.
Director, Faculty Commons
Tel (425)564-2354


Creating a Success Culture: Transforming Our Schools, One Question at a Time

Creating a Success Culture: Transforming Our Schools, One Question at a Time
Anyone who would like to learn more about creating a success culture in a school
June 18 at the Lynnwood Convention Center, 8:30-3:30
Because it is part of a three-year project funded by College Spark Washington, there is no charge
Registration is required if one plans to attend the full day session:
Cal Crow at the Center for Efficacy and Resiliency

Description: When the project funded by this College Spark grant began, most students viewed the school as a place to make up credits and get a diploma. Now it is viewed as a place to plan and create a successful future. Students who had low aspirations (“I’ll just get a job somewhere”) are now asking about the SAT and inquiring about college.
The school changed its mission statement to one sentence, which drives both student and adult behavior: Scriber Lake High School will ensure that all students become successful by helping them identify, develop and maximize their strengths, skills and talents.
A student designed a “creative” mission statement poster which was enlarged and laminated, and appears in classrooms and hallways throughout the school.  This culminating event will focus on the project, called “Your Future Now,” that was designed to change the culture of Scriber Lake High School.
Workshops and speakers, and conversations with adults and students who have helped transform a school. Each attendee will receive a professionally bound book describing one school’s road to creating a success future.

Faculty Learning Community (FLC) Grants are now OPEN!

SBCTC Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning and Open Education announce that the Faculty Learning Community (FLC) Grants are now OPEN!

Check out our newly revised grant guidance, and our newly minted Collaborate recording of the webinar we hosted yesterday on the 2015-16 application process!

There is also a Power Point presentation, if you’d like to view the slide deck individually.

Our fiscal guru MIchele Rockwell walks you through access to our online grants management system (OGMS) and the intricacies of creating a budget– listen for her Dr. Suess joke!

Alissa Sells, my eLearning twin, and I, discuss the criteria for our research-based, formative application process, as well as elaborate on our new mantra: learn, create, release (openly), and share.

Questions about ATL applications: Jennifer Whetham, jwhetham@sbctc.edu

Questions about eLearning and Open Education applications: Alissa Sells, asells@sbctc.edu

Questions about OGMS: Shannon Bell, sbell@sbctc.edu

Questions about budget: Michele Rockwell, mrockwell@sbctc.edu

QM System Meeting Slides & Notes

qm-logoQM Conversations

The intro slides with guided discussion questions and the companion meeting notes (Google doc) from the regional QM conference WA System meeting are now posted on the conference website.

QM System Meeting Slides & Notes

You are invited to review the slides and then contribute to the conversation by adding your responses to the guided questions into the notes document.

You’re invited…


Will you be attending the “QM Works in the Pacific Northwest” regional conference next week?

If so, please join us for the Washington State system meeting. The meeting will be held on Friday April 10th from 11:00 – 11:50 AM and is one of the regularly scheduled conference sessions. Please come prepared to discuss the past, present and future direction of Quality Matters in our system.

SBCTC Awarded 2015 Open Research Award for Open Education Excellence

Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has been awarded the 2015 Open Research Award for Open Education Excellence, presented by the Open Education Consortium.

The report, authored by Boyoung Chae, Policy Associate, eLearning and Open Education, and Mark Jenkins, Director of eLearning and Open Education, is titled: “Qualitative Investigation of Faculty Open Educational Resource Usage in the Washington Community and Technical College System: Models for Support and Implementation.

To see the official announcement, please visit the Open Education Consortium website.

SBCTC is extremely grateful to the 50 faculty members who participated in the interviews, as well as to the 770 faculty members who responded to the earlier survey—the results of which led directly to the current study.

We are proud to be part of a system of institutions and educators committed to increasing access to high quality education for everyone!

Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators



Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators

  • Offered by Portland Community College & Desire2Learn OPEN COURSES
  • Starts March 30th and runs for 5 weeks




  • Goal 1: Build the personal knowledge base in web accessibility for each participant
  • Goal 2: Create Accessible Photo Images, Diagrams, and Charts for Online Courses
  • Goal 3: Create Accessible Audio and Video for Online Courses
  • Goal 4: Create Accessible HTML Content for Online Courses
  • Goal 5: Create Accessible Course Content in Other Formats

This is an excellent course! If you are at all interested in improving the accessibility of your course materials, please consider participating in this MOOC.  For those that may be unfamiliar, a MOOC is a Massively Open Online Course.  You may choose your level of participation by accessing the course just for the resources or by completing different levels of coursework to earn a completion certificate.  And, it’s FREE!