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Educational Experts Unveil Key Strategies for Developing Quality, Team-Designed Assessments

BLOOMINGTON, IN--(Marketwired - December 01, 2016) - Solution Tree, a premier educational publisher and professional development provider, has announced the release of Simplifying Common Assessment: A Guide for Professional Learning Communities at Work™, written by best-selling authors Kim Bailey and Chris Jakicic.

In this book, Bailey and Jakicic break down the complex work of writing and using common assessments, which are created by teams of educators united by the same content or grade level. Common assessments are designed by teacher teams to ensure that every child in every classroom receives the instruction needed to succeed. They are an essential tool for those working in schools and districts who want to build successful professional learning communities (PLCs) and increase student achievement.

"As practitioners involved in supporting the implementation of professional learning communities, we've encountered many teams struggling with the process of designing and using common assessments," explained Bailey and Jakicic. "In fact, many teachers we've met believed that they didn't have the skills to write quality assessments. To address this challenge, we wanted to develop a process that real teachers in real schools could accomplish with limited common planning time."

Every chapter provides essential information, lists of tips, and best practices for teams. The book's appendix provides readers with a road map for navigating the work involved in implementing common assessments and monitoring progress along the way.

Dr. Richard DuFour, a leading authority on PLCs, emphasized the importance of common assessments, stating, "Schools committed to preserving their traditional structure and culture...often look for ways to avoid doing the real work of PLCs. The real test of a true PLC is to determine how each teacher team uses the evidence of student learning its members gather from common assessments."

The title has garnered praise from teachers and administrators alike. William M. Ferriter, an author and teacher at Salem Middle School in North Carolina, highly recommended the resource, calling it "a must-read for every team," while Eric Twadell, superintendent of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Illinois, stated, "Simplifying Common Assessment is the book that we have been waiting for-an articulate and clear resource that demystifies the common assessment process."

Simplifying Common Assessment: A Guide for Professional Learning Communities at Work™ builds on the process featured in Bailey and Jakicic's 2012 best-selling title, Common Formative Assessment: A Toolkit for Professional Learning Communities at Work™. Both resources are available to order at SolutionTree.com.

About the Authors

Kim Bailey is former director of professional development and instructional support for the Capistrano Unified School District in Southern California. Prior to her work in professional development, Kim served as an administrator of special education programs and a teacher of students with disabilities.

Chris Jakicic, EdD, served as principal of Woodlawn Middle School in Illinois from its opening day in 1999 through the spring of 2007. Chris began her career teaching middle school science before serving as principal of Willow Grove Elementary School in Illinois for nine years.

About Solution Tree

Solution Tree delivers unparalleled professional development to schools and districts around the world. For more than 20 years, Solution Tree has empowered K-12 educators to raise student achievement through a comprehensive range of services and products, including events, district solutions for long-term professional development, books, videos, online courses and more.

About Professional Learning Communities

Building a PLC is increasingly recognized as the most powerful strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement. Becoming a PLC is an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs are driven by three big ideas: focus on learning, build a collaborative culture, and create a results orientation.

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Solution Tree
Kelly Rockhill
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