— Dr. Chris R McGee (@cmcgee200) March 10, 2017
A few days ago, the above tweet was sent out by Chris McGee, a friend of mine and an assistant principal out of St. Louis, Missouri.
While these words can apply to countless areas of education, I found myself thinking about them this past Friday during a professional development session in which an excellent Heinemann consultant, Sheila, was working with my district’s elementary level on Fountas and Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment System (BAS)…In short, the BAS is an assessment that’s administered to students, one-on-one, usually two or three times a school year to determine each student’s three reading levels: independent, instructional, and hard. All levels are indicated by a letter on Fountas and Pinnell’s Text Level Gradient, which ranges from A-Z.
Towards the end of the professional development, after Sheila had spent the time focusing on (1) how to find each student’s levels and (2) how to use qualitative data to drive instruction, she made it a point to say something to the effect of, “Despite all the testing, Irene Fountas and Gay Pinnell have always left it up to the teacher to decide at which level to instruct each student.” When she uttered these words, my thoughts shot in two different directions.