Baltimore County to use progress-reporting system countywide
My story today highlights an online program in Baltimore County that outlines what students should be learning in every course - and includes a detailed progress-reporting system that tracks their progress in mastering those objectives. Even as students move from teacher to teacher and school to school, a running record is kept, showing the skills they have mastered and those they have yet to grasp.
The program, called the Articulated Instruction Module, also provides access to the district's entire curriculum, including sample lessons and questions that teachers can reference while crafting quizzes and tests.
Even though the bulk of the county's teachers are in the process of learning how to use it, the module has been in place for several years at a few schools, particularly in the southwest area. This month, a couple thousand teachers are to be trained, and the school system expects the program to go countywide by the spring semester. It is also supposed to be shared with all the other districts in the state for their own use.
The goal, according to county educator Barbara Dezmon, who created the program, is to ensure all children are receiving the same education, regardless of where they are going to school. And having such a system also helps create some kind of record for homeless students, who sometimes are only at a school for a few days.
Several teachers I spoke with were looking forward to the benefits of the module: having a sense, from the beginning, of where their students need help - and the ability to access instructional resources. But the teachers union has expressed some concerns about adding to workload.
What do you think? Does the benefit of having much more detailed information about each student - for teachers and parents - outweigh whatever additional work might be involved?