8th Grade Seminars Testing & Accountability Before Us Department of Education Staff and Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan in Washington DC!
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Sunday, November 23, 2014
Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan watches CSAS 8th Graders Seminar His Article on Testing & Accountability
Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan watches CSAS 8th Graders Seminar His Article on Testing & Accountability

A couple of months before the CSAS 8th graders were to leave for their annual Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Washington DC trip, a wonderful opportunity was unraveling.  While i was sitting on a panel of principal's discussing an article written by Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan with Normal Park principal, Jill Levine, who is on sabbatical as a Principal Ambassador with the US Department of Education, we joked about bring our 8th graders by the Department while we were visiting in DC.  Then Jill and I looked at one another and said, "Why not?" And the rest is history as CSAS 8th graders spent a couple of weeks prior to the the trip prepping for their seminar on a blog written to teachers and school leaders about testing and accountability.  Our students and teachers did an excellent job as they showed the US Department of Education what takes place in our building everyday.  Our students posed questions of one another, they cited text and data from several resources and really showed how seminaring is the epitome of Common Core.  Our teachers deserve just as much recognition as the staff there applauded their ability to facilitate the seminar and keep urging the work back to the text(s).  While the groups were broken up into their normal four groups for eighth grade seminar two more of our chaperones helped to stream the seminar live via UStream where parents, class rooms, and other stake holders watched from afar.  Kudos to our new librarian Ann Marie Fitzsimmons for making that all happen and training us long distance.  We also had three special guests join us.  Three of our CSAS graduates came to observe and helped to Tweet the event live.  Jacob Hershey and Taylor Henninger who both sub-contract with the Department for Homeland Defense and Anthony Dunham who is a Law student at American University were there not only to tweet but to talk to our students about their experiences at CSAS and how they have helped them become successful citizens.  Another neat fact about Taylor is she is a finalist to be part of the Mars colonization project and is now one of the remaining 700 finalists out of 200,000.  If you would like to go back and look at all the action from Twitter go back and search #CSASinDC to catch up.  Secretary Duncan and his staff were impressed.  They witnessed Common Core standards being implemented in a truly pure fashion through seminar.  We are very proud of our students!  We are also proud of the following teachers who made it all happen..seminar facilitators Kathy Phelps, Jim Hunt, Autum McCamish, and Tim Edwards and to our two live streamers and videographers Chris Hendrix and Jessica Ulloa!

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