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COVID-19 Challenge: We Must Improve Assessment and Grading Practices

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

COVID-19 Challenge: We Must Improve Assessment and Grading Practices

Presented by Matt Townsley, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, University of Northern Iowa; and Nathan Wear, Associate Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, Linn-Mar Community School District (IA)

Sponsored by Solution Tree

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged schools to question their assessment practices and grading policies. Are students retaining and applying the concepts and skills of the standards? What can be evidence of their learning? How do we motivate students to invest and monitor their own learning? What grading practices make the learning meaningful? Is what we are doing fair and equitable? This edWebinar examines how schools can answer these questions and more.

Viewers will connect standards-based principles with effective PLC strategies to enhance and improve assessment and grading practices. This work comes from Making Grades Matter: Standards-Based Grading in a Secondary PLC at Work and features authors Matt Townsley, Ed.D. and Nathan Wear. 

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to teachers, instructional coaches, curriculum leaders, and school and district leaders of all middle school, high school, and higher education levels.


Matt TownsleyAbout the Presenters

Matt Townsley, Ed.D. is an assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of Northern Iowa. He is a former district administrator and teacher in Solon Community School District where he led curricula, assessment, and school-improvement initiatives, all under the umbrella of a professional learning community philosophy. Solon Community School District was named a district of distinction in 2015 by District Administration magazine, and multiple schools in the district were recognized by Solution Tree as model professional learning communities during his tenure.

In 2017, Dr. Townsley was named Iowa’s Central Office Administrator of the Year, and in 2014, he was recognized as an ASCD Emerging Leader. Dr. Townsley received a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College, a master’s degree from Iowa State University, an advanced studies certificate in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa, and a doctorate in school improvement from the University of West Georgia.


Nathan Wear

Nathan L. Wear is the associate superintendent and chief academic officer of Linn-Mar Community School District in Marion, Iowa. An educator since 2002, he has also served as an elementary teacher, elementary principal, and high school principal.

As principal of Solon High School in Solon, Iowa, he and his staff championed grading reform efforts and implemented standards-based grading within a professional learning community. During that time, his staff was recognized as a national model professional learning community. In 2014, Newsweek recognized Solon High School on its annual list of America’s Best High Schools. Nathan’s strong belief that leading a positive organizational culture through high accountability has resulted in marked improvement in the schools where he has worked.

Nathan received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Wartburg College and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas State University. He received his superintendent endorsement from the University of Northern Iowa.

Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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