Social Studies Education and Washington Classroom Based Assessments

The page below is ARCHIVED information related to a past initiative of Global Source Education, the parent organization of EduCulture. Though these are not current projects of EduCulture, we feel there are valuable resources and information for educational purposes.

Approaching the Social Studies Classroom-Based Assessments:

A Global Source Initiative for Washington State Schools


“Over the past few years, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Global Source Education have successfully collaborated on a number of teacher workshops on the CBAs. Feedback from these workshops reveals that educators have found them to be both practical and inspiring. Specifically, Jon Garfunkel has proven himself to be a skilled trainer who can not only engage diverse audiences of teachers and administrators but also challenge them to see how state assessments can be used to promote teacher empowerment and student engagement.” -Caleb Perkins, Former Program Supervisor, Social Studies/International Education, OSPI

Following the belief that teachers must and should be the primary driving force behind school change and reform, Global Source Education has become involved in building learning communities and cultivating teacher leadership around the WA State Social Studies Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs), slated for implementation 2008-2009. Global Source’s professional development programs link CBA integration strategies with best practice in social studies education.

Richard Elmore’s 1996 article Getting to Scale with Educational Practice makes the most compelling case for building a teacher leadership network around the Social Studies Classroom-Based Assessments (CBA’s) developed by OSPI. His extensive research on educational reform reveals that “the problem of scale in educational innovation can be briefly stated as follows: Innovations that require large changes in the core of educational practice seldom penetrate more than a small fraction of US schools and classrooms and seldom last for very long when they do”.

Hence, the statewide implementation of the CBA’s slated to take place in 2008-2009 faces this same fate unless we can somehow learn from the lessons of previous educational reform efforts. Fortunately, Elmore concludes this article, as do other researchers in more recent studies, with a hopeful call for the development of “strong external normative structures for practice” for teachers.

Elmore goes on to explain that teachers would “begin increasingly to think of themselves as operating in a web of professional relations that influence their daily decisions, rather than as solo practitioners inventing practice out of their personalities, prior experiences, and assessments of their own strengths and weaknesses” (p.19). This new way of thinking captures what we hope to foster among a select group of educators who want to be part of a CBA Teacher Leadership Network. Moreover, it supports the work of other researchers, including Milbrey McLaughlin, who highlight the importance of developing professional learning communities when trying to ensure that educational reforms have the opportunity to succeed.

In collaboration with OSPI’s Social Studies Program, school districts, and others, Global Source, is helping to meet the needs of districts and educators in support of the statewide implementation of the CBA’s. Jonathan Garfunkel, social studies specialist and director of Global Source, has been designing and facilitating a series of teacher education programs to cultivate professional learning and build teacher leadership around the development of curriculum to meet the new WA State social studies reform. Jon has been a lead CBA trainer, and consultant with schools and districts on CBA professional development, implementation and integration.

(Reference: Getting to Scale with Good Educational Practice, by Richard Elmore, Harvard Educational Review, Spring 1996)


CBA Program Offerings

The Future of Social Studies Education

Goals for Teacher Education Programs include:

• Facilitate a shared professional experience in understanding the anatomy of a CBA, by working through a common CBA unit of study (Causes of Conflict) from teacher and student perspectives.

• Address strategies for adapting, adopting, and integrating the CBA’s within existing and changing curriculum.

• Identify and discuss professional discretion and constraints surrounding CBA unit development, implementation and assessment the CBA’s.

• Examine how the CBA units of study model opportunities for best practices in teaching and learning through the social studies.

• Examine how engaging in the CBAs can be a force for promoting meaningful professional dialogue, building professional learning communities, and fostering positive change in school communities.

Areas of Professional Development

Understanding the CBAs 
• State Framework, Requirements & Recommendations
• OPSI K-12 Menu & Curriculum Alignment
• Social Studies Scope & Sequence
• Understanding the Anatomy of a CBA
• CBA Elements
• Approaching Teaching and Learning with and through the CBAs

Supporting the CBAs 
• District Frameworks, Requirements & Recommendations
• District, School and Course Integration
• Professional Relationships & the CBAs
• Developing CBA Support Networks
• Adoption Timeline & Implementation Calendars

The CBAs and Your Practice 
• Discretion & Constraints with the CBAs
• Framing the CBA within your Curriculum
• Developing CBA Pathways
• Organizing Principles for Approaching you CBA
• Strategies for implementation and assessment

Beginning and Intermediate Level Professional Development Workshops

CBA Unit of Study Workshops (around a particular CBA)

Training of Trainer Programs

District Leadership and School Consultation

Global Source’s Managing Director, Jonathan Garfunkel, has been working with Caleb Perkins from the OSPI Social Studies Program to help meet the needs of districts and teachers in adoption and implementing the new reform. He is also consulting with schools and districts on CBA adoption, and helping to build professional learning communities to support their implementation and integration. If you would like Global Source to present one of our CBA workshops for your school or district, please contact us.

Resources Related to CBAs

Portfolio of CBA Related Professional Programs and School Projects

Social Studies CBA’s Professional Programs and School Commissions Designed and Facilitated by Jonathan Garfunkel

– More than 625 Educators Served-

May 2007, Aberdeen CBA 
Teacher Training (Day Long Workshop) 
Co-Designed and Facilitated with Caleb Perkins Sponsored by OSPI & ESD 113

June & August 2007, Spokane, Vancouver, and Auburn 
Social Studies CBA Teacher Leadership: Building Professional Learning Communities Around the CBAs (Day Long Workshops at each of three OSPI Summer Institutes) Co-Designed and Facilitated with Caleb Perkins, Sponsored by OSPI

August 2007, Sumner School District 
Inservice Orientation to the CBAs (half-day workshop) 
Commissioned by Sumner School District

October 2007, Seattle 
Approaching the Social Studies CBAs (half-day workshop) 
Sponsored by Global Source Education

November-December, 2007, Tacoma Public Schools
Commission from Tacoma Public Schools to help the district design and facilitate a two year Social Studies CBA adoption and implementation plan, and included developing in-service professional development workshops to train teachers, librarians and other district staff and administrators.

January 2008, Spokane 
Social Studies CBA District & Teacher Leadership: Getting Ready for 2008-2009 (Session at OSPI January Conference) 
Co-Presented with Caleb Perkins, OSPI & Ginni Fay, Tacoma Public Schools Sponsored By OSPI

March 2008, Sunnyland Elementary, Bellingham 
Approaching the Social Studies CBAs (half-day workshops) 
Special program for Teacher-Librarians. Sponsored by Washington Library Media Assoc.

June 2008, Yakima Public Schools 
Approaching the Social Studies CBAs (half-day workshops)
Four inservice programs for elementary, middle and high school teachers and librarians. Commissioned by Yakima Public Schools.

December 2008, ESD 105, Yakima 
Approaching the Social Studies CBAs (half-day workshops)
A dynamic workshop to give Social Studies teachers the background, ideas, resources, and enthusiasm to build strong Classroom Based Assessments. Commissioned by ESD 105.

March 2009, Bellingham School District 
Bridging Classroom, Curriculum & Community with the Social Studies CBA’s: Librarian as Leaders (full day workshop) 
Training of the Trainer Program for Bellingham area elementary, middle and high school librarians. Commissioned by Bellingham School District.

Caleb Perkins, Social Studies Program Director, OSPI, 360-725-6351
Ginny Fay, Lead Instructional Facilitator, Tacoma Public Schools, 253-571-1152
Greg Day, Director of Academic Assessment, Yakima Public Schools, 509 573-7014
Molly Berger, Instructional Improvement Coordinator, ESD 105, 509-454-3114
Ann Reed, Director of Instructional Technology & Libraries, Bellingham S.D., 360-676-6526
Katy Ackerson, Teacher Librarian, Sunnyland Elementary, Bellingham, 360-676-6448