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How Authentic Mixed Method Assessment helps unlock student potential - and tracks what really matters. What if decisions about what to teach and how to teach put the learner first? What if we started with what the kids know and love, and helped them learn from there? What if teachers really had their fingers on the pulse of how each learner was doing every day - doing real-time assessment of not just what's easy to measure, but what really matters? And what if that told them what the learner needed next? What if "what really matters" was infused with who a learner was, what they loved, who they aspired to be, and what they needed to learn in order to get there? What if that real-time assessment was based on the full range of evidence, qualitative and quantitative, that supported teachers to use sound professional judgment in a nuanced but consistent way? And what would it look like if we could aggregate that evidence up to create a system-wide tracking framework that would show how well students, classrooms, schools, districts, and states were tracking relative to rich and meaningful targets? This book seeks to answer some poignant questions, and take an in-depth look into the education system, how it's failing some of our children, and what we can do as educators, parents and community leaders to change that. With The Learner First(TM), these things are achievable, practical, and valid. The Learner First(TM) works at multiple levels of the system to effect deep and lasting change - and to leave behind the capabilities needed to build on that change. Authentic Mixed Method Assessment is the tool for translating this worthy 'what if' thinking into an evidence-based, defensible reality.
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About the Author

Dr. E. Jane Davidson, Co-founder and Chief Data Whisperer at The Learner First, a world-class education consulting and capacity building business in Seattle, WA. Jane is an internationally recognized evaluation specialist and thought leader, best known for developing evaluation rubrics as a methodology for drawing conclusions about quality and value. She has also made significant contributions in the areas of causal inference for qualitative and mixed methods, and in synthesis methodologies for evaluation. From her base in New Zealand, Jane works alongside leading educational system change guru Joanne McEachen using practical educational, systems change, and evaluative know-how to create and track genuine deep change in education systems, states, districts, and schools. Jane is former Associate Director of the internationally recognized Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University, where she launched and directed the world's first fully Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation. Jane's text, Evaluation Methodology Basics: The nuts and bolts of sound evaluation (2004, Sage), has sold heavily in both the US and internationally as a graduate text and practitioner guidebook. Her minibook, Actionable Evaluation Basics: Getting succinct answers to the most important questions (2012, Real Evaluation) is also available in Spanish and - soon - French. Joanne McEachen President and Chief Destiny Changer of The Learner First, a world-class education consulting and capacity building business based in Seattle, WA. Joanne is an internationally recognized whole system education change leader; originally from New Zealand. She co-founded The Learner First, where Joanne unashamedly focuses, inspires and motivates learners, parents, educators, communities and system leaders to put The Learner First and dramatically lift the performance of education systems to accelerate exactly the learners that have been left behind. Drawing on her deep expertise in creating change at every level of the K-12 system, Joanne has delivered numerous keynote addresses and professional learning labs to educators internationally from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Uruguay, Finland, Australia, and New Zealand, on topics such as, Whole System Change, Educational Leadership, Authentic Assessment, and Educational Technology."

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