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My quick thoughts, back stage, and rants as I try to Teach kids about the Web while learning how to help others build a better Web.


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Greg McVerry

If I could teach coaches one thing it would be stop using conditioning as punishment for behavior or performance. You condition to get good not for being bad.

Greg McVerry

@Cambridgeport90 define gaminifaction as any machine tallyable metric that can quantify performance or participation while providing a user with some kind of extrinsic displayable award to signify accomplishment and membership

Greg McVerry

SVR lines up perfectly with STM "simple transportation models have an engine on one factor called "combustion" and everything else factor called "kinetic understanding" explains 90% of variance in movement performance

Greg McVerry

@karenvaites so many newer theoretical models that explain so much more of the variance in reading performance than stuffing everything into language comprehension.....I asked for research, published and peer reviewed

Greg McVerry

Daily Update for #edu506 @scsu #literacies

Hey #EDU506 I want to pull you away from your Purell bath and provide a quick update. You case studies are due 3/13 Friday and many of

1 min read


I want to pull you away from your Purell bath and provide a quick update.


You case studies are due 3/13 Friday and many of you are feverishly writing. You will get a short three question survey about your performance and your group member performance. Please answer honestly.


I will be launching the next module on dialectical questing today but you do not have to start during spring break. I just wanted to share it in case people want to get a jump start on the activities:


You will also be getting a form from me to self -assess your progress and determine your midterm grade. I will then look at your description of how well you met the objectives, your participation in class, how well you contributed to your group, and see if I agree with your decision.

Greg McVerry

My Support for CT HB5376 which eliminates EdTPA in Connecticut #literaces #edchat #teacheredchat #edu506 #edu307 @ctmirror

This is a reply to an editorial: Thank you all for engaging in this important topic, though I do not think the author was suggesting no

4 min read

This is a reply to an editorial:

Thank you all for engaging in this important topic, though I do not think the author was suggesting no assessment in student teaching.

Violet JimΓ©nez Sims suggested that EdTPA is the WRONG assessment not that all assessment is bad. The author argued for local control based on high quality feedback rather than handing over testing to a national corporation that leeches away not only dollars from needy students but the American principle of local control in education so important to our federalism.

EdTPA has nothing to do with good teaching as we do not even know if it accurately (reliability) measures what is says it measures (validity). In fact the authors of the state report in support of EdTPA could not even agree on it's efficacy. Two of the report authors REFUSED to sign the report. How do I convince student teachers this matters when two of the State's experts can't even agree?

In terms of authors Aflano, Horton, and Todd voted yes while Grant and Ayalon voted no (copy of report). When 40% of the State's experts do not agree with findings they wrote we need another solution.

A Problem We Created

One of my favorite scholars on teaching writing, Ed White, used to say, "Assess thy self or be assessed." Education Deans around the state made this mess. They never trained, observed or coached student teaching supervisors. We saw this in the data where students would score almost perfect scores every time. This is not a knock on evidence, scores should be skewed positively after four years of instruction, but it was an indicator of lack of validity. Scores should never be that similar.

So the Deans around the state are looking for an easy way to appease accreditation boards far removed from Connecticut classrooms. They turned to giving Pearson, the testing conglomerate, a giant government handout. One that should not sit well with fiscal conservatives or those who favor local control of schools.

A Better way Forward

We learned many lesson in the last decade of edreform focused on teacher quality. Mainly just because you SHOULD do something doesn't mean you CAN do something. It would be great to assign a numerical quality value in CT to every teacher. The math simply does not work. We end up taking multiple flawed assessments and building a composite score. It like we shine two turds, combine them, and then sell the dish as mud pie.

More importantly we learned the importance of coaching and feedback. There are very specific practices we know show gains in student performance. there are class cultures that allow all students to thrive. We can observe teachers, either veterans or candidates, and provide feedback on how they can grow. This increase in instructional capacity may lead to improved student performance.

There is a better way forward in Connecticut. The majority of teachers in the state get assessed against the System for Educator Evaluation and Development which includes the CCT Rubric for Effective Teaching 2017. Here is my novel idea...We train teacher candidates using the same rubric for effective that is used in the classroom. Imagine people using the same instruments that will be used to judge their performance. Not only would we regain and protect local control over edreformers who seek to nationalize teacher preparation but we would use good pedagogy.

In full disclosure: I am not an expert. My PhD is in educational psychology, with an emphasis on cognition and technology, but I have spent the last five years serving as the Peer Validator in New Haven Public Schools. Any teacher who scores at the top or the bottom of the scale gets observed by me. I also spent threes observing hundreds of teachers in Newark Public Schools.

This experience lead me to create an app called ReVIEW Talent Feedback System, to coach school administrators on how to deliver high quality feedback using the CCT Rubric for Effective Teaching. Feedback, not some silly Pearson test, drives growth.

This app has been used by the CSDE, CREC, Hartford Public Schools, and New Haven Public Schools to train administrators on coaching for growth.

Our app is partially funded through start-up grants from UCONN and SCSU. In fact, we have a profit sharing agreement with SCSU if our app truly took off. I receive no income from UCONN or SCSU for the development of this tool.

Greg McVerry

Please let us stop conflating grading with feedback. We know the act of measurement changes the motivation to learn but we don't need to worsen the situation by conflating arbitrary numbers with information used to improve performance

Greg McVerry

@JennBinis Warren's debate performance was stunning. She is making, finally, a move from policy to passion. Nobody wants a wonk, they ain't winners. I was really impressed, and think we should just make NDAs over sex and harassment illegal.

Greg McVerry

I added an end of the module checlist to #edu506

Reading Did I do the readings? Did I take notes as I read? Discussion Boards Did I make atleast two initial posts? Did I reply to atleast two of my

1 min read


  • Did I do the readings?
  • Did I take notes as I read?

Discussion Boards

  • Did I make atleast two initial posts?
  • Did I reply to atleast two of my peers?
  • Did I reply to everyone who resopnded to me?
  • Did I use evidence from the reading?
  • Did I share more than short single paragraphs

Performance Task

  • Did I create a definition of literacy with no words? OR
  • Did I compare storytelling to alchemy?

Written Reflection

  • Did I preplan my writing assignment?
  • Did I post a reflection of ~250 words that has a clear positiom?
  • Do I make references and use evidence from, the reading?
  • Do I mention any understandings from module assignments (optional)
  • Did I read the reflcetion before posting to make sure organization is clear?

Greg McVerry


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