The purpose of the second draft is to complete the draft presentation of your argument. The second draft will add Section II (two to three paragraphs), Section III (two to three paragraphs), Section IV and Section V (if needed), and the conclusion. The second draft should include all of the sources you presented in your Annotated Bibliography and may add an image, chart, or graph as appropriate. If you have made changes to your list of references, cite each new reference carefully, both in the text and on the References page. The length of the second draft includes last’s week content and will be seven to ten pages of text, not including the title and References pages.

When you are finished, save the document as <your last name.Wk6 Project Second Draft> and submit it to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

sample

Standardized Tests Sections III, IV, and V

Sammy North

DeVry University

This sample uses a problem-solution organizational pattern. Your approach to the organization of your project may differ. See the textbook for other sample organizational structures. Also review your professor’s feedback on assignments you’ve submitted.

Standardized Tests Sections III, IV, and V

The best plan to solve the problem of standardized tests is instituting the MOST or Mastery Of Subject Tests, which are the end-of-year subject tests to be administered to each student before graduation, to determine his or her mastery of the area studied in high school. Because these tests would be administered and graded by individual school districts throughout the country and not from Washington, D.C., they will decentralize control of students’ learning away from government officials who know next to nothing about these students, and into the hands of content-area teachers who know their students best. These tests will also raise the standards and expectations of all students, who will choose the content areas they wish to be tested in, and focus on mastering those areas in high school. Thus, when they take the tests, they are motivated to show that they are the masters of one field instead of being jacks-of-all-trades. The standards of mastery will be higher when you have students improving year after year on a content area of their own choosing, rather than having their focus scattered on fields that they have no desire to pursue after graduation. These tests will save everyone both time and money, as shown in the next section, Benefits, and they lead to increased mastery of core subjects, as well as diminish dropout rates.

These end-of-year subject tests are better than solutions that have been proposed, such as portfolios, since these tests would be objective determinants of learning rather than subject artifacts of courses. The portfolio may be an accurate representation of a student’s abilities, as well as his or her growth throughout high school, but it is far too subjective; mastery would be determined by the judge reading the portfolio, whose personal biases would be too difficult to control for in such an important test. Also, portfolios are too costly in terms of time and resources; the process of gathering and housing these documents would be too large a task for the last few months of a student’s final year. For consistent scoring of portfolios, one study determined that it would take 20 minutes to 1 hour to score one portfolio by one judge; this would be doubled if two judges were used (as cited in Dietz, 2010). If 40 minutes to 2 hours sounds like a lot, multiply that by the number of graduating seniors, and you get numbers too unrealistic to consider. Plus, the criteria used to judge each assessment would have to be aligned to the courses the student took in order to be seen as equal to a standardized test (as cited in Dietz, 2010), which would be problematic in terms of showing equal levels of rigor and substantive content. Of course, having no test whatsoever is not viable, because it does not prepare students for assessments that will be commonplace in college and the workplace. Having the current college entrance exams, the SAT or ACT, replace standardized tests for everyone is also not viable, because not everyone will pursue college; those who opt to enter the workforce immediately after graduation would not be well served by these tests.

There are three steps in putting this plan into action. First, these must be constructed and administered by experts in individual school districts. A committee of specialists in different fields must ensure that each test assesses knowledge that students should have in each school subject. The test would be multiple choice, short answer, and essay for more traditional subjects such as English and history; for the arts or music, the test would be performance-oriented. Next, students must choose and take the test that is most appropriate to their future career: students interested in history would be tested in that subject area, and those interested in music would perform for their test. Finally, committee members must decide whether students have passed the test, which would be administered early in their senior year; students must be notified about their passing this test so that they can earn their high school diploma. If students fail, they should be given ample opportunity to retake the test. If students still fail the test, they might consider another subject area. For example, if students interested in a career in music consistently underperform on the test, then they should be counseled to try another test, because maybe a career in music isn’t showing the best of their talents. Thus these tests more accurately assess students’ strengths and indicate which careers are best suited to them. They will produce high school graduates who are more prepared for their chosen careers and, as the next section will prove, these tests will be more cost effective and benefit all stakeholders of education.

This plan will help to save time and money. Additionally, this plan will put to better use the collective energy of stakeholders in education—students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the public—who are currently caught up in the standardized testing craze. The most recent price tag for the current testing system is $4.35 billion (as cited in Onosko, 2011). The proposed plan could accomplish the same goal but at a far lower cost in terms of money. If the cost of time and hours for each individual district’s subject-matter committee is $1.43 billion, it can be accounted for by including each of the current 14,310 school districts (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004) and giving each one $100,000 to cover costs. Even with rate-of-inflation increases, that is much lower than the current system. As shown in Chart 1, the cost is lower than the previous system. By Year 10, it could be reasonably estimated at over $3 billion, far less than the almost $7 billion the current system would cost. Additionally, the time it takes for standardized tests versus the proposed plan is no contest when you determine the amount of time in test-taking strategies that schools are consumed with. Plus, the number of graduates would increase because students would be far more interested in attending schools that are aligned to their future interests, and taking tests that measure their mastery of those interests. A curriculum with coursework that is more relevant to their future careers would keep dropouts from leaving school (Bridgeland, DiIulio, & Morison, 2006); this study serves as proof that schools can prevent students from dropping out if they just open their minds to the possibilities. A committee of subject-matter specialists will need to be convened to start this project. A focus group consisting of educators at all levels of the subject, as well as people working in that field, will help to construct, disseminate, and assess these tests.

Figure 2: Cost of Current Testing System vs. Proposed Testing System

Figure 2: This chart shows the cost of the current testing system in billions of dollars in blue in Year 1 of the program, and then again in Years 5 and 10. The proposed testing system is shown in red in the same 3 years: Years 1, 5, and 10. Clearly, the proposed system will save billions of dollars in the short term as well as in the long term.

Let’s help our students achieve the most with the proposed MOST, or Mastery Of Subject Tests, initiative. It will help students master the subject they have learned about in high school and not force them to pass tests that are not a part of their futures. If we don’t act fast to replace standardized tests, more and more students will fall through the cracks and drop out of school. Our current model for K–12 education uses a one-size-fits-all approach that just leaves our children behind, instead of giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential. If we are to maintain our position as a 21st century superpower, we must educate a highly skilled, technologically savvy workforce that can handle the demands put in front of them. Also, if we are to maintain our current position as the center of the world regarding our athletes and entertainers, we must nurture their talents early on in their careers, instead of blocking their talents in an avalanche of testing in subjects that aren’t relevant to them. After all, America is known as the land of opportunity, and if we continue to use standardized tests, we may become known as the land of lost opportunity.

No Child Left Behind has left nobody ahead, least of all our country’s educational standing compared to our competitors around the world. It’s time to bring back power to the people. Contact me at snorth@testsrus.org and join me in fighting for a better tomorrow for our children. Sign up for updated information on our progress, and contact your local legislators who can spur action with the local districts in the hope of effecting change at the national level. The time to take charge of our children’s education is now. To get the most out of our children’s education, let’s support MOST!

References

Bridgeland, J., DiIulio, J., & Morison, K. (2006). The silent epidemic: Perspectives of high school dropouts. Retrieved from http://www.civicenterprises.net/pdfs/thesilentepid…

Dietz, S. (2010). State high school tests: Exit exams and other assessments. Center on Education Policy. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED514155.pdf

Onosko, J. (2011). Race to the Top leaves children and future citizens behind. Democracy & Education, 19(2), 1-11.

U.S. Census Bureau (2004). Retrieved from U.S. Census Bureau website: http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation…

Direction

Your Topic Sections III, IV, and V

Your Name

Your University

This sample uses a problem-solution organizational pattern. Your approach to the organization of your project may differ. See the textbook for other sample organizational structures. Also review your professor’s feedback on assignments you’ve submitted.

Your Topic Sections III, IV, and V

Start with Section III, where you will identify and describe your plan to solve the problem that you previously discussed in Section II. You will also explain why your solution will work better than other ones, and what distinguishes it from others.

Name your solution and why it will be successful: Your solution should have a catchy name and include two to three reasons why it will be successful.

Also, in this section and section V, you must prove the ideas stated in your thesis statement, which is the statement of what your plan is and why it is the best solution. Retrieve your First Draft from the Dropbox to address any errors in the thesis statement that were marked by your instructor. The direction of the remaining sections will be determined by your plan and why it will be successful, so be sure to look over this section of the First Draft.

Distinguish your solution: Your solution should be unique, so here’s your opportunity to explain what sets it apart from other, equally good solutions. What is missing from other solutions, and what makes your solution the better option? Some solutions may be untested just as yours is, and you will argue why these other untested solutions won’t work as well as yours will. Essentially you must argue that your solution is the best solution compared to what is currently being done about the problem, as well as what others have suggested for solving it. The only conclusion that the reader will have is that your solution is the only one that anyone should consider, as all other possibilities have been eliminated as viable. Please note that you are advancing your unique solution to the problem. This solution may be partly based on what someone else has proposed but if so, you must document and cite that solution. Do not feel compelled to propose certain solutions just because research exists for them. Very often the problem still exists because the solution being enacted to solve the problem is simply not working and nobody is willing to admit it.

Major steps in operationalizing your solution: Identify the major steps that must be taken so that your solution can be implemented. The major steps may also include minor steps, so be sure to include those as well. This part is the nuts and bolts of your plan: What person or entity would be in charge of implementing the solution, what is their expertise, where are they to be located, when exactly will they begin, and so on.

Summarize the deliverables: This section ends with your explanation of what deliverables can be expected when the solution is implemented.

For Section IV or Benefits, detail how the solution will bring about benefits. Explain why the investment is worthwhile, and detail the materials or resources needed to start. In this section of your draft, you will expand on these ideas, specifically organizing your paper according to the aspects detailed below.

Offer a costs/benefits analysis: In this part, you will prove to the reader that your plan is worthwhile in terms of time, energy, money, or a combination of these three. A chart or graph will show clearly that these benefits outweigh any costs. To determine the benefits of the solution, look back at your thesis statement at the end of the introduction in your First Draft, because your benefits should prove what you outlined earlier in your thesis. If you are using a solution that is partly based on one from research, you will include the numbers from this source and cite it. If you are using your solution not based on anything you have found in research, you will have a reasonable estimation of the numbers without the need for a citation.

Identify necessary materials or resources: Include the materials and/or resources that are needed to make your solution a successful reality. Look back at the previous section, Section III, for your major steps in operationalizing your solution. Determine what is needed if these steps are to be followed. You don’t know yet what will be needed in the long term; at least in the short term or to get started, identify the materials and resources needed.

Add a chart or graph as discussed in the Week 6 Lecture. Be sure to have a title at the top, all text in Times New Roman 12, and a short explanation at the bottom. An example follows.

Figure 2: Cost of Current Testing System vs. Proposed Testing System

Figure 2: This chart shows the cost of the current testing system in billions of dollars in blue in Year 1 of the program, and then again in Years 5 and 10. The proposed testing system is shown in red in the same 3 years: Years 1, 5, and 10. Clearly the proposed system will save billions of dollars in the short term as well as in the long term.

The final section of the project is the conclusion. This is not the area in which you simply repeat earlier information. It will be two paragraphs in length. End with memorable ideas and details, including a call to action; use persuasive ideas that sell the solution to the reader.

One technique is to end with contact information and the next steps; include contact information, which would be your e-mail address (a fake one is fine) and how the audience should contact you. Also indicate what the next steps would be for the audience.

Thus Section III Solution, Section IV Benefits, and Section V Conclusion are detailed in this Second Draft. See the Week 6 Lecture for more detailed information on each of the sections above. The length of this document is about four pages—or six pages if you’re counting the title page and References page. See References below. Include a minimum of reference sources for this Draft. Remember, one source for your paper must come from the Course Theme Reading List. Proofread carefully and then turn in this document to the Dropbox by the end of Week 6 as your last name first Second Draft Project.docx. Good luck!

References

Put your sources cited in-text above here in alphabetical order, starting with the first line flush left and hanging indent of the second and each subsequent line. Each in-text citation should have a corresponding Reference entry here. Look up the correct format, because sources have different formats depending on the type and location.

Put your sources cited in-text above here in alphabetical order, starting with the first line flush left and hanging indent of the second and each subsequent line. Each in-text citation should have a corresponding Reference entry here. Look up the correct format, because sources have different formats depending on the type and location.

Put your sources cited in-text above here in alphabetical order, starting with the first line flush left and hanging indent of the second and each subsequent line. Each in-text citation should have a corresponding Reference entry here. Look up the correct format, because sources have different formats depending on the type and location.

 
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