Back to School Balance | Tom Guskey Interview | Large-Scale Assessment

In Don’t @ Me (1:45), Tom talks about why it’s important to find our back-to-school balance (1:45). Tom is then joined by Dr. Tom Guskey for The Interview (11:45) to discuss the legacy of Benjamin Bloom and the necessary assessment and grading mindsets for a fair and successful 2020-21 school year. In the News (53:51) includes a story about COVID testing in Utah and the recent story from the province of Alberta and their desire to develop a new guiding vision for K-12 education. Assessment Corner (1:00:36) includes a question about using large-scale assessments to improve student learning and another about feedback. Finally, in Tweets of the Week (1:16:14), Tom has two follow suggestions that you won’t want to miss.




BONUS: Twitter | Segment Details | Book Giveaway | First Interview Guest

In this Bonus Episode, Tom has five announcements ahead of Episode 1: The Podcast has a new Twitter account @TomSchimmerPod (1:01); Details and requests for “The Interview” (1:57) and “Assessment Corner”  (3:36); A Book Giveaway contest that will close before episode one (8:11); and the first interview guest for episode 1 (10:33).


Follow Tom Schimmer:

Twitter: @TomSchimmer

Facebook: Schimmer Education

Instagram: Schimmer Education 

The Tom Schimmer Podcast

Hey everyone! I’m excited to announce the launch of The Tom Schimmer Podcast! It’s a podcast about learning, leadership, and a little bit about life.

Primarily, it’s a podcast that focuses on current topics in K-12 education. Each week, I will lean on my 30 years of experience to keep listeners informed on the prevailing stories dominating the conversations about teaching and learning.

This podcast will also focus on leadership by exploring how leaders in any field can truly engineer a culture of continued professional growth.

Occasionally, this podcast will explore the pursuit of success and happiness as it relates to any walk of life. Through a mix of segments I hope you will be well-equipped to meet the needs of learners regardless of what role you serve.

Segments each week will be:

1. Don’t @ Me: I will open each podcast with my commentary or perspective on a wide array of educational topics.

2. The Interview: I will invite experts on to discuss what’s current in their areas of expertise. I also hope to interview expert practitioners who might not be educational household names but who, nonetheless, are leaving their mark on education.

3. Assessment Corner: As many of you know my primary area of expertise is in assessment and grading, so while the podcast itself will focus on a range of topics and issues, Assessment Corner will be a main-stay each week. This will be an opportunity for you, the listeners, to send in questions (either by email or voice recording) that could be directly embedded into the podcast) for which I will provide some practical answers and sound advice on how to move forward.

4. In the News: I will highlight a few educational news stories from the previous week that I thought were noteworthy; maybe offer some perspective or opinion on those stories as well.

5. Tweets of the Week: I will bring you the social media posts from Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram that caught my attention.

The “Trailer” is now live on Podbean:

You can also listen/subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, & Google.

You can also listen/subscribe on my YouTube channel:

Anyway, I hope you’ll check it out!

NEW BOOK! Standards-Based Learning in Action

SBLVery excited to announce that my new book (co-authored with Garnet Hillman and Mandy Stalets) Standards-Based Learning in Action: Moving from Theory to Practice (Solution Tree) is now available!

Standards-based Learning in Action flips the usual script in that it’s heavy on practical implementation strategies, supplemented by a synthesis of the research. Most books tend to go heavy on research, but this book is designed for practitioners looking for ways to bring standards-based learning to life in their classrooms. As well, this book is comprehensive in that it spans the breadth and depth of both formative and summative assessment; from teaching to grading and reporting. Finally, this book uniquely features sections on both directly talking to learners and parents so that teachers can effectively communicate to all stakeholders the necessary shifts to modernize assessment and grading.

With Standards Based Learning in Action, educators will understand the full scope of what standards-based learning can and will look like in their classrooms and schools. There is no one right way to implement all that encompasses standards-based learning, so it can be contextually adjusted and nuanced to effectively and efficiently put into practice. Other than grades based on the achievement of standards, teachers have the opportunity to create a learner-responsive classroom that accelerates growth toward proficiency. This book emphasizes the fact that this work is important, necessary, and feasible for those looking to create a more learning centered culture in their classrooms.

For more information, please visit the Solution Tree website (here)

NEW BOOK! Instructional Agility

IA PhotoVery excited to announce that my new book (co-authored with Cassandra Erkens and Nicole Vagle) Instructional Agility: Responding to assessment with real-time decisions  (Solution Tree) has now been released!

Being instructionally agile is about making seamless instructional adjustments at a moment’s notice. This book takes readers back to the core fundamentals of classroom assessment. Rather than creating assessment events that require teachers to stop teaching in order to conduct their formative assessments, the focus is on the more organic process of infusing assessment experiences into any activity or strategy. The over-quantification of learning can distract teachers from fully utilizing the most powerful  aspect of formative assessment, which is to inform instruction.

Whether through engineering conversations, questioning, observing, practice, or mobilizing students, teachers can transform any activity into a formative assessment that reveals what comes next for each learner.

For more information, please visit the Solution Tree website (here).


NEW BOOK! Grading from the Inside Out

GFIO_FrontCover_10.20.15I’m very excited to announce that my new book, Grading from the Inside Out: Bringing Accuracy to Student Assessment through a Standards-Based Mindset (Solution Tree), has just been released!

Long-term grading reform begins on the inside and works its way out; it begins with a complete rethink of the purpose of grades within the summative assessment paradigm. Developing a standards-based mindset allows teachers to begin reshaping the grading experience in their classrooms without the premature pressure of a new grading program, a new grading policy, or a new report card template. Once we shift how we think about grading we are poised to move toward more overt changes to the processes and practices of sound grading and reporting.

For more information, please visit the Solution Tree website (here).

All Things Assessment (Solution Tree)

I’m very excited to announce that all of my assessment blogs are moving to the newly updated and relaunched Solution Tree All Things Assessment website. You can find the blog  here. You can find the homepage for the website here.

This website is part of a much larger assessment center at Solution Tree. The center itself is still in development so more information will be shared as it unfolds later this year, but for now, the All Things Assessment site is live, active, and full of great assessment information shared by an array of assessment experts.

For now, this website will remain active as an information page and a way of connecting with me.