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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU’s Borderlands Writing Project hosts talk on test-based evaluation issues

Nationally renowned education scholar Audrey Amrein-Beardsley will give a talk at New Mexico State University titled “Critical Perspectives on Assessment-Based Accountability” from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, March 13 in the Health and Social Services Auditorium on campus.

“We are fortunate to be hearing from someone who has been honored as an Edu-Scholar, a designation that recognizes university-based scholars in the U.S. who are contributing most substantially to public debates about education,” said Chris Burnham, NMSU English professor and executive director of the Borderlands Writing Project, which is hosting the event. “We are also excited about NMSU efforts in public engagement, making connections between the university and the community on issues that concern us all. ”

The event will begin with a lecture by Amrein-Beardsley followed by a series of breakout sessions for the public: one for parents on making decisions about the test; one to allow members of the public to try out the practice test and provide feedback on their thoughts; and one for next steps, a session for teachers, students and people who want to help create positive change.

"The Borderlands Writing Project, a National Writing Project (NWP) site, is honored to sponsor Dr. Beardsley’s visit to New Mexico,” said Patti Wojahn, NMSU English professor and director of NMSU’s program. “NWP includes a national network of educator innovators who work together to reimagine learning, help colleagues meet the challenges of new college and career-ready standards, and support youth in using technology to write, learn, and participate powerfully in a digitally connected world.”

Amrein-Beardsley is the author of the book “Rethinking Value-Added Models in Eduation” and the creator of “VAMboozled,” a blog about teacher evaluation, accountability and value-added models.

“We stand for supporting schools and facilitating learning," Wojahn said. “At a time of great uncertainty and anxiety over the roles that standardized tests are playing in the daily lives of students, teachers, parents and administrators, we invited Dr. Beardsley to help us all learn more about evaluation practices, their origins, and their uses.”

Across 40 years, the National Writing Project has grown to a network of nearly 200 university-based, local sites serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, reaching 1.4 million students a year. In southern New Mexico, the Borderlands Writing Project has a history of supporting teachers, providing unique professional development, identifying ways for teachers to learn from other teachers, and addressing the many ways that writing in all subject areas can contribute to learning.