Parents, educators discuss project-based learning

About 100 parents met with educators in the Rockdale High School Cafeteria Tuesday evening to discuss the RHS ninth-grade academy and the project-based learning concept.

The concept had brought criticism over grading approaches from two parents at a recent school board meeting.

Dr. Howell Wright, RISd superintendent, said project- based learning is an approach to prepare for the new, more stringent STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) tests.

“These tests will be two levels higher than the old TAKS tests,” Dr. Wright said. “Always before when Texas has gone from one test to another it has been one level higher.”

Project- based learning has students work together in groups to complete projects, focusing on critical thinking skills in addition to completing the projects.

Dr. Wright said project-based learning involves more than completing a worksheet or listening to a lecture.

He said grading was different. “Part of the grade may be devoted to collaborative efforts and work ethics.”

He acknowledged that some parents have concerns. “ The transition process is difficult,:” he said.

Representatives of the Manor ISD, which has implemented project-based learning were on hand Tuesday to provide input and answer questions.

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