Technology Access Foundation Design Challenge Submission


October 16, 2023


Proposal Summary

The Technology Access Foundation (TAF) advocates for a transformation in K-12 assessments, focusing on reducing bias and the negative consequences of high-stakes testing. Our proposal highlights the limitations of standardized tests, which fail to consider the diverse backgrounds, learning styles, and cultures of students. It emphasizes the need for a more holistic approach to assessment, such as portfolio-based assessments, that provide a comprehensive view of student abilities and strengths. These assessments would involve students reflecting on their own learning process, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and showcasing their progress over time. The proposal also suggests the integration of project-based learning and interdisciplinary connections to promote real-world application of knowledge and the development of collaborative skills and the construction of a national database of standards aligned and engaging project samples for states, districts, and schools. By shifting to portfolio-based assessments, we aim to create a more equitable and inclusive educational environment. We emphasize the importance of valuing diverse forms of knowledge and allowing students to demonstrate their understanding through various mediums. Additionally, portfolio-based assessments can foster collaboration, engagement, and a positive learning community among students. The proposal highlights the benefits of this approach in preparing students for post-secondary education and civic participation by nurturing independent and critical thinking skills, fostering a sense of civic responsibility, and promoting self-discovery as learners while increasing transparency for families and the community. As a result of a change in practices, students will have the requisite skills and experiences to be the leaders and creators of the future.