SDE Seminar with Acclaimed Educator Rick Wormeli Helps Educators Better Assess Student Learning

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Peterborough, NH, August 18, 2014

School is back in session, and assessment and grading are top of mind for many educators. Charting student progress in the classroom can be a major dilemma for educators, especially given the traditional report cards and grading systems. In order to truly find a valid way to assess and report progress, teachers need tools and strategies to help them focus on how to grade, what to grade, and how to design assessments.

Staff Development for Educators’ (SDE) two-day seminar on Standards-based Assessment & Grading: Principles & Practicalities for Todays Classroom, offered this fall for teachers of grades 5-12, is designed to do just that. Educators will learn how to manage evidence-based assessment and grading, using innovative strategies designed to meet common standards and be tailored to students’ unique needs.

In this seminar, led by internationally-acclaimed education consultant and assessment expert Rick Wormeli, educators will be treated to an engaging, provocative, and practical look at standards and outcomes-based assessment and grading practice through the lens of diverse student bodies, changing polities, and evolving pedagogy.

“Evidence-based assessment and grading are two frontiers critical to your success,” explains Wormeli. “Make sure you plan how you can shape the course of education for you and your students. “ Wormeli, one of the first Nationally Board Certified teachers in America, brings energy, validity, and high standards to his presentations and instructional practice. A teacher for more than 30 years, Wormeli’s work has been reported on ABC’s Good Morning America and on Hardball with Chris Matthews, and featured in publications such as the Washington Post, National Geographic, and Good Housekeeping. An exciting and engaging presenter, he is also the author of the award-winning book Meet Me in the Middle, as well as Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessment & Grading in the Differentiated Classroom, and Differentiation: From Planning to Practice.

“This is such an exciting seminar, because Rick is one of the most sought after presenters in the country, and assessment is such an important topic for educators right now, “ states Kymra Kurinskas, the program’s planner, enthusiastically. “Rick is so knowledgeable, and his presentations are infused not only with research-based, practical content, but also great energy and humor.”

Wormeli will guide teachers through the necessary elements for useful pre-, formative, common, and summative assessments that really work in today’s classrooms, and working with students who learn differently. The seminar will also address designing rubrics, using grading scales, averaging scores, handling zeroes, homework, do-overs, late work, and extra credit.

The thoughtful, research-based solutions provided by Wormeli will help educators develop a principled mindset to determine assessment and grading techniques that create transcripts of true integrity that stakeholders in other schools and districts can trust. Wormeli will teach educators how to focus assessments so that they provide real and valid evidence of what is (and is not) mastery.

“Teachers will learn how to unwrap the standards to meaningfully aid them in designing effective rubrics,“ Kurinskas says. “They’ll also easily be able to tier and scaffold assignments—so that they can make a true connection between what they’re teaching and what their students are learning.”

The seminar is designed for new and veteran teachers alike.

“Participants will leave with a better understanding of what to grade, how to grade, and overall more confidence in assessing all of their students,” Kurinskas states confidently.

All SDE events include a free resource book of handouts, lesson ideas, reproducibles, and a free 30-day membership at With the paid registration of a staff member, SDE extends free tuition to a principal from the same building, and also offers group discounts for groups of 10+ and 20+.

Standards-based Assessment & Grading: Principles & Practicalities for Todays Classroom will be offered in Memphis, TN on October 21st-22nd, Atlanta, GA on October 27th-28th, Minneapolis, MN on November 18th-19th, Timonium, MD on December 2nd-3rd, and Concord, CA on December 10th-11th. Educators interested registering for this seminar, or learning about more about SDE’s national conferences, upcoming SDE events, or other professional development opportunities, can visit, call 1-800-462-1478, or email

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