Archives for category: Curriculum

The National Center for Education Statistics released NAEP scores in history and geography, which declined, and in civics, which were flat.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos went into her customary rant against public schools, but the real culprit is a failed federal policy of high-stakes testing narrowly focused on reading and math. If DeVos were able to produce data to demonstrate that scores on the same tests were rising for the same demographic groups in charter schools and voucher schools, she might be able to make an intelligent point, but all she has is her ideological hatred of public schools.

After nearly 20 years of federal policies of high-stakes testing, punitive accountability, and federal funding of school choice, the results are in. The “reforms” mandated by No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as the federally-endorsed (Gates-funded) Common Core, have had no benefit for American students.


When the ESSA comes up for reauthorization, it should be revised. The standardized testing mandate should be eliminated. The original name—the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—should replace the fanciful and delusional title (NCLB, ESSA), since we now know that the promise of “no child left behind” was fake, as was the claim that “every student succeeds” by complying with federally mandated testing.

Restore also the original purpose of the act in 1965: EQUITY. That is, financial help for the schools that enroll the poorest children, so they can have small classes, experienced teachers, a full curriculum including the arts and recess, a school nurse, a library and librarian, a psychologist and social worker.

Here is the report from Politico Morning Education:

MANY STUDENTS ARE STRUGGLING’: Average scores for eighth-graders on the Nation’s Report Card declined in U.S. history and geography between 2014 and 2018 while scores in civics remained flat, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The results follow disappointing scores for math and reading released in October.

— “The results provided here indicate that many students are struggling to understand and explain the importance of civic participation, how American government functions, the historical significance of events, and the need to grasp and apply core geographic concepts,” stated Peggy G. Carr, the associate commissioner of assessment at NCES, which runs the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, known as The Nation’s Report Card.

— The digitally based assessments were administered from January to March 2018 to a nationally representative sample of eighth-graders from about 780 schools. The results are available at They will be discussed at a livestreamed event, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

— Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, in a statement, said “America’s antiquated approach to education is creating a generation of future leaders who will not have a foundational understanding of what makes this country exceptional. We cannot continue to excuse this problem away. Instead, we need to fundamentally rethink education in America

Open the link to find links to the NAEP reports.

Laura Chapman writes:

“EdReports, an independent curriculum review nonprofit, rates curriculum on three gateways: Text Quality, Building Knowledge, and Usability. Amplify CKLA earned a green rating in all three.”

This should not be regarded as a trustworthy endorsement. Here is Why. Recall that the Common Core State (sic) Standards were first marketed as if they were not intended to be about curriculum (but they were), because the owners of the CCSS soon offered up “publisher’s criteria” for curriculum materials (2011). Those criteria morphed into a system for reviewing curricula, based on absolute compliance with the CCSS, including grade-by grade alignments. In 2013, the initial criteria for reviewing curriculum materials for compliance with the CCSS were called “drop dead” (meaning comply with these criteria or do not waste the time of reviewers). A year later, the language was softened to the idea that materials had to meet “gateway” criteria (2014), but with the same meaning,—comply or else the reviewers will not bother to look at anything else.

By 2015, the promoters of the CCSS had set up a non-profit called to function in the capacity of a consumer-reports of newly published math and ELA materials. The purpose was to rate publications that claimed to be in compliance with the CCSS.

EdReports is said to be the result of a meeting at the Annenberg estate of “the nation’s leading minds in math, science, K-12 and higher education.” I have not been able to find a list of participants in that meeting or the sponsors, but in 2014 professionals in branding and communications were hired to promote EdReports. You can see the strategy and their pride in getting coverage in national news, from Peter Greene at

In August 2015 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $1,499,988 to EdReports for operating support followed in 2016 with $6,674,956 for operating support. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation gave $1.5 million in 2015 and $2 million in 2016.

Ed is also funded by Broadcom Corporation (Board member from Broadcom is with EdReports), the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Overdeck Family Foundation, the Samuel Foundation, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation.

You can find more about the quest for absolute continuity from the writing of the CCSS, largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to current efforts to impose “approved curriculum materials” for any state that has adopted the CCSS…

EdReports is a Gates funded review process initially marketed to ensure that “approved” curriculum materials were in compliance with the common core. Any curriculum materials that did not pass muster with three gateway “drop dead criteria” would not be subjected to further review.

Amplify does not want you to know the history of this phony system of rating materials. Bob Shepard has offered another excellent history of this absurdly wrong effort to standardize ELA curriculum.

I see that Margaret Spellings, former Secretary of Education, has found a position at Amplify. She also serves on the board of Gates’ relatively new lobby shop. She is not competent to make judgments about education, but that seems to qualify her to be a crony of the disrupters who will do almost anything to please a billionaire.

Education is always ablaze with the latest fad (think “grit,” “think “self-esteem,” think “character education,” think “growth mindset,” think a hundred other hot topics).

Now it is “social and emotional learning.” You might think that SEL is simply built into the classroom experience. But no, there is now a demand from some quarters to teach it as a separate activity or even subject.

Peter Greene has a few choice words on the subject.

With Peter Greene, experience and common sense go a long way.

He begins:


Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has been gathering traction as a new education trend over the past few years. Back at the start of 2018, EdWeek was noting “Experts Agree Social-Emotional Learning Matters, and Are Plotting Roadmap of How To Do It.” But as we head into the new year, many folks still haven’t gotten far beyond the “it matters” stage in their plotting.
I’m here to teach you how to be human.
That’s the easy part. We can mostly agree that SEL matters; in fact, we ought to agree that it already happens in classrooms. It’s impossible to avoid; where children are around adults, SEL is going on. Asking if SEL should occur in a classroom is like asking if breathing should happen in the room. The real question is whether or not it should occur in a formal, structured, instructed and assessed manner. That is the question that starts all the arguments. We can break down the arguments by asking the same questions we ask about any content we want to bring into the classroom.
Why do we want to teach this?
Some SEL proponents have developed a utilitarian focus. Summarizing the work of the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development, EdWeek said “social-emotional learning strategies center on research that has linked the development of skills like building healthy peer relationships and responsible decision making to success inside and outside the classroom.” But what happens if we approach what used to be called character education with the idea that it’s useful for getting ahead? Doesn’t SEL need to be about more than learning to act like a good person in order to get a grade, a job, and a fatter paycheck? Are you even developing good character if your purpose for developing that character is to grab some benefits for yourself?
We can reject that kind of selfish focus for SEL and instead focus on the “whole child,” and treat SEL, as Tim Shriver (co-chair of that Aspen Institute) and Frederick Hess (of the American Enterprise Institute) wrote, as “an opportunity to focus on values and student needs that matter deeply to parents and unite Americans across the ideological spectrum—things like integrity, empathy, and responsible decision making.” But then we find ourselves with another problem.
What do we want to teach?
If we’re going to adopt SEL in order to essentially teach students to be better people, then who will decide what “better” looks like? Is “tolerance” going to be one of the virtues, and if so, does that mean that students must learn to tolerate persons who would not be tolerated by their families (be that married gay folks or strict religious conservatives)? Should students be taught to feel empathy for everyone, from Nazis to sociopaths?
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) identifies five “competencies” for SEL(self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, relationships skills). That framework is widely used, but “explained” with a wide variety of definitions (one resource says it includes “achieving useful goals”). All of them are heavily loaded with value judgments; how many arguments have you been in your life about whether or not something was a “responsible” decision or not? Who decides if a goal is “useful?”
We have been down this exact road before. In the 90s, Outcome Based Education was going to be a great new thing in education, but before it could gain traction, a bunch of folks noticed that it included an element of teaching values, and a large number of parents were certain that was not a job they wanted the schools to do. OBE never recovered. As two articles in this packet from AEI note, much of what comes under the SEL umbrella used to be considered the providence–indeed, the whole point–of religious and faith-based education.
Wherever SEL is implemented, expect a huge fight over what will actually be taught.
He has much more to say on the topic. Read it.

Sarah Sparks writes in Edweek about a curriculum company that is suing a parent in Wake County, North Carolina, for criticizing its math program. The company says the parent is defaming its product. The parent’s lawyer says the company is attacking the parent’s First Amendment rights.

As the story notes, this is a SLAPP suit, a suit meant to silence public criticism. The last time I encountered this sort of thing was when a charter company filed a suit against a school board member in California for negative criticism. The ACLU came to her defense. It should defend this parent too, who is using his Constitutional right to disagree with a program adopted by his district.

A group of families in Wake County, N.C., have pushed for months to get the district to stop using a controversial new curriculum. Now the company behind the curriculum is suing one of the most vocal parents for defamation.

It’s a surprising move that some say could have broad implications for parent advocacy around curriculum and instruction. A win by the company “would certainly cast a shadow on the idea that parents have a right to participate in their own children’s education, to criticize schools for buying particular textbooks, to voice their concerns about instruction and curriculum,” said Tom Loveless, an education researcher formerly at the Brookings Institution, who is not involved in the case.

The Mathematics Vision Project, a nonprofit provider of open source math curricula, filed a complaint this summer against Blain Dillard, a parent in the Wake County public school system. MVP has accused Dillard, an outspoken opponent of the math program, of libel, slander, and “tortious interference with business relations.”

The company alleges that Dillard has launched “a crusade against MVP” through his online criticism of the curriculum and advocacy with school officials and employees.

In a written statement to Education Week, Jeffrey Hunt, Dillard’s lawyer, wrote that the lawsuit “has no legal merit.”

“It is alarming that a parent would be sued for defamation for expressing opinions and making truthful statements about his son’s high school math curriculum,” Hunt said. “The lawsuit appears to be an attempt to silence Mr. Dillard and other critics of MVP, and to chill their First Amendment rights to speak about MVP’s services.”

The district is entering its third year using the MVP curriculum, which received a favorable evaluation from the curriculum reviewer EdReports. The open source curriculum emphasizes problem-solving and collaboration—students learn by working through problems, and teachers are expected to act as facilitators.

For months now, parents have spoken out against lessons that they say are confusing and poorly structured, lodging complaints with the district and making statements at school board meetings. Parents said their children weren’t getting enough direct instruction and were encouraged to rely on their classmates for help. As a result, they said, students who used to get As and Bs were now getting Cs and Ds, which would have long-lasting effects on their grade point averages and college prospects.

Barbara Kuehl, an author and consultant at MVP, said that the organization’s materials encourage a variety of methods. “Our curriculum not only supports well-timed direct instruction, we advocate for it,” she said. Kuehl declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing pending litigation.

Pushback from parents over a new curriculum, and particularly a discovery-based program, is nothing new, said Loveless.

“There have been all kinds of programs that have been oriented around that philosophy, and they have been quite controversial,” Loveless said.

What is new? A curriculum provider suing parents over such complaints.



Bob Shepherd writes here about E.D. Hirsch Jr.’s work, and how it was wrongly appropriated by conservatives in their fight for the canon of “great white men.”

I first met Don Hirsch in 1983 at a conference where we both spoke. We became good friends. We even served on the Koret Task Force together at the Hoover Institution, which we both quit, perhaps for different reasons or maybe for the same reason. While there, we had a public debate with Paul Peterson and Caroline Hoxby. The topic was: Curriculum and instruction are more important than markets and choice. We argued for the proposition, and they argued against. Given that we were at the Hoover Institution, the audience favored the negative. Of course.

Bob Shepherd writes:

There was a lot of willful (e.g., intentional) misreading of Hirsch’s work, which wasn’t helped by the fact that his work was embraced by far-right conservatives who thought that he was all about defending the canon of work by dead white men against multiculturalism. And, unfortunately, his Core Knowledge Foundation had a brief flirtation with Common [sic] Core [sic] advocates, which Hirsch later renounced as a mistake.

So, here, a brief tutorial on his major ideas:

Hirsch first made his name as a proponent of a particular approach to literary interpretation, or hermeneutics. He was a champion of the traditional notion that the meaning of a literary work lies in the intention of the author and that the practice of interpretation is about recovering that intention, which requires not only close reading but also familiarity with the author’s life, the social and historical context of the work, and the literary genres and tropes employed in the work. Well, this poem was written by a courtier, sick of court intrigue, who longed for a simpler, more noble, more real, more honest life and adopted the pastoral mode as an expression of these longings.

In other words, his was a defense of a traditional view of interpretation that required considerable knowledge of the text in context.

Then, Hirsch became interested in freshman composition (which is interesting because, by that time, he was a well-placed public intellectual, and those freshman comp classes are usually foisted off on people low on the academic totem pole). He soon realized that people who don’t read well can’t write well, and this led him to think carefully about the problems he was seeing in his comp students’ ability to read. He soon realized that a major problem, overlooked by “reading specialists,” was that poor readers didn’t have the background knowledge that the writer had assumed they would have.

This important insight led him to formulate a theory that a culture is bound together by inherited, shared, common knowledge. The members of this Amazonian tribe have a shared knowledge of the uses, medicinal and otherwise, of hundreds and hundreds of indigenous plants. People in the English-speaking West are bound together by shared knowledge of things like Mother Goose Rhymes (“Simple Simon said to the pieman”), the Bible, a few plays by Shakespeare, and so on. So (and again, this is rare among English professors) Hirsch set out to conduct studies of what educated people in the United States know. He chose as his representative group lawyers because they were an easily identifiable group of educated professionals. On the basis of those studies, he came up with a list of stuff that educated people in the U.S. know. This list became the core of his best-selling book Cultural Literacy.

Unfortunately, this book hit at the very time that multiculturalism was making great headway in U.S. education, and Hirsch was perceived by many to be a reactionary figure in opposition to that movement. This bothered him a lot because politically, Hirsch was always a liberal.

Here’s what Hirsch was definitely right about: knowledge is an essential component of reading ability. Any approach to ELA that discounts knowledge, that considers the field to be all about the teaching of abstract skills, is doomed to failure because writing and reading and public speaking are extremely dependent upon both descriptive knowledge (knowledge of what) and concrete procedural knowledge (knowledge of how).

It’s possible, of course, both to embrace multiculturalism AND Hirsch’s core ideas. You want to understand Emerson and the Transcendentalists? Well, then, you better understand the Hindu Upanishads, that great spring from which Emerson drank.


Bill Gates never gives up, and he sure isn’t abandoning his Common Core baby.

But he is not investing much. Only $10 million to train teachers to use Common Core curricula.

For this multiBillionaire, that’s not an investment, it’s more like throwing a few coins out there. Maybe it’s just a signal to his grantees that he is not yet ready yo throw in the towel.

Edweek reports:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to invest in professional development providers who will train teachers on “high quality” curricula, the philanthropy announced this afternoon.

The announcement fleshes out the curricular prong of the education improvement strategy the influential foundation laid out in late 2017, a major pivot away from its prior focus on teacher performance.

The investment, at around $10 million, is a tiny portion of the approximately $1.7 billion the philanthropy expects to put into K-12 education by 2022. Nevertheless, it’s likely to attract attention for inching closer to the perennially touchy issue of what students learn every day at school.

Gates officials emphasized that the new grants won’t support the development of curricula from scratch. Instead, grantees will work to improve how teachers are taught to use and modify existing series that are well aligned to state learning standards…

The grants build on the foundation’s earlier support for shared standards, notably the Common Core State Standards. All grantees, for instance, would have to orient their teacher training around a curriculum with a high rating from, a nonprofit that issues Consumer Reports-style reviews, or on similar tools developed by nonprofit groups like Student Achievement Partners and Achieve.

Those tools were directly crafted in the wake of the common standards movement with heavy support from the Gates Foundation.

EdReports has received more than $15 million from the foundation since 2015, while Student Achievement Partners has received about $10 million since 2012. Achieve has received various Gates grants since 1999, most recently $1 million in September to support its reviews of science lessons…

Gates’ investment comes in the middle of two diverging national trends in curriculum that have been unleashed, respectively, by the common-standards movement, and by an explosion of online, downloadable, and often teacher-made lessons.

Gates is still hoping to standardize Instruction and curriculum.

“Who Else Has Gates Funded on Curriculum?

Apart from its newly announced grant competition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has long supported some curriculum providers and quality-control groups. Here’s a look at what it funded in that category in 2018.

RAND Corp.

To support curriculum
Open Up Resources

To support capacity-building
Pivot Learning Partners
$1.23 million

To support instructional materials
Illustrative Mathematics
$2.85 million

To support student learning and teacher development, Inc.
$7 million

To provide general support
PowerMyLearning, Inc.

To explore connections between tier one and supplemental instructional resources
Achieve, Inc.

To increase availability of high-quality science materials
State Educational Technology Directors Association

To support state education leaders in their selection of evidence-based professional development and quality instructional materials

Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grants database

Comsewogue is a small district on Long Island in New York. Its superintendent, Joseph Rella, is an outspoken critic of standardized testing and “one-size-fits-all” education.

His district developed and applied a problem-based curriculum to prepare students in high school.

“Teaching to the test” is a concept that no longer computes in Comsewogue School District.

Administration and faculty in Comsewogue, for the last two school years, have experimented with a problem-based learning curriculum for small groups of interested ninth- and 10th-graders, an alternative to the traditional educational strategy of focusing assignments and assessments toward the goal of performing well on state-mandated standardized tests at the end of the year. Now, Superintendent Joe Rella has data to back up his notorious aversion to one-size-fits-all education and assessment.

In all subjects, Comsewogue students in PBL classes passed 2018 Regents exams, scoring 65 or better, at a higher rate than those in traditional classrooms, according to data released by the district. On chemistry, geometry, algebra II, global history and English 11 exams, PBL students achieved mastery level, scoring 85 or better, at significantly higher rates than their non-PBL classmates.

“We played in your ballpark — we scored runs,” Rella said of how he interpreted the data, meaning students taught by alternative methods still displayed an aptitude on the state’s required tests.

Though Rella and the district have taken steps to try to have PBL assessments replace Regents exams, no avenue to do so has been greenlighted by the New York State Department of Education to this point for Comsewogue. Emails requesting comment on the significance of Comsewogue’s test results sent to the education department and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) press office were not returned.

During the 2017-18 school year, about half of Comsewogue’s ninth- and 10th-graders, roughly 300 students, took part voluntarily in PBL classes, which emphasize hands-on learning and real-world application of concepts as assessments — similar to a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation — as opposed to the traditional “Regents model.” The students were still required by the state to take the Regents exams as all students are, and their performance has inspired the district in year three of the pilot to expand its PBL curriculum offerings on a voluntary basis for 2018-19 to its entire student body — kindergarten through 12th grade.

The superintendent said the impetus for the district to experiment with PBL started three years ago, when he and about 20 Comsewogue teachers spent a day at the New York Performance Standards Consortium in Manhattan. The organization was founded on the belief that there was a better way to assess student learning than dependence upon standardized testing, according to its website.

Open the article to see the stunning results of the district’s problem-based curriculum.

Rella has proven that student learning is created by asking questions that stimulate curiosity, not by checking the “right” box or responding with a canned answer on a standardized test.

Educators and parents are upset in Michigan because a Republican politician wants to impose revisions to the state Social Studies curriculum that reflect his own partisan views.

“The new curriculum draft cuts out references to gay rights, Roe v. Wade and climate change. It also slashes the word “democratic” and replaces it with “republic.”

“Behind the draft is Republican State Senator and Gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck. He said his suggestions were motivated by concern that some standards are not politically neutral or factually accurate, and to ensure students are exposed to multiple points of view, reported Bridge Magazine, which first broke the news.

“According to Bridge, crowds of people have gathered to voice their objections to the changes already and the period to comment lasts until June 30.“

Los Angeles Superintendent Austin Beutner, new to the education world, has defined himself by his first big hire. He selected Rebecca Kockler, the Louisiana Department of Education’s assistant superintendent for academic content to be his chief of staff. Like her boss, John White, Kockler is both TFA and Broadie. (For the initiated, that means they both got a little bit of teaching experience as recruits for Teach for America and are “graduates” of Eli Broad’s unaccredited Broad Superintendents Academy, whose “graduates” are taught top-down management, the value of closing schools and replacing them with private management, and other reformer tricks of the trade. John Thompson recently wrote a series of posts here about the dismal record of Broadies.)

Mercedes Schneider, researcher and high school teacher in Louisiana, reviews Kockler’s TFA career in TFA here, which was mysteriously absent from the LAUSD press release. Also unmentioned in the press release was her Broadie history. Mercedes knows more about the Louisiana Department of Education and its new chief of staff than LAUSD. To be fair to the person who wrote the press release, Mercedes notes that Kockler deleted her Linked In bio that describes her TFA history. But Mercedes has it.

Both the LAUSD press release and the Broad Center agree that Louisiana is one of the “fastest improving” states in the nation.

But is that true? Nope. Its NAEP scores declined significantly from 2015 to 2017.

What is especially irksome about the LAUSD press release linked above is that it refers to Louisiana’s academic standards as “a national model.” Who would look to a state that scrapes the very bottom of NAEP rankings as “a national model”? Maybe it is a model of how to fail while boasting of success. Maybe it is a model of Trumpian rhetoric that turns lemons into lemonade.

Consider this report in the New Orleans Advocate on 2017 NAEP.:

“In the latest snapshot of education achievement, scores for Louisiana public school fourth-graders plunged to or near the bottom of the nation in reading and math.

“In addition, eighth-graders finished 50th among the states and the District of Columbia in math and 48th in reading…

In 2015, fourth-graders finished 43rd in the U. S. in reading and 45th in math….

“But both scores dropped five points – to 212 and 229 out of 500 respectively – during tests administered to 2,700 students last year.

“That means fourth-grade math scores finished 51st while fourth-grade reading scores are 49th.

“The group that oversees the exams, the National Center for Education Statistics, said both drops are statistically significant.”

Why not tell the truth? Beutner hired the academic director of one of the lowest performing states in the nation, where NAEP scores fell in the latest assessment. He was impressed by her credentials in TFA, and she came highly recommended by his friend Eli Broad.

Is it possible that a math test could be dangerous? This teacher educator, Kassia Omohundro Wedekind, says yes. She says the iReady Assessment is dangerous.

She explains:

This school year Fairfax County Public Schools, the 10th largest school division in the United States, adopted the iReady assessment as a universal screener across all of its elementary schools. Students in grades K-6 take these assessments individually on the computer three times per year, and the results are made available to both teachers and parents.

According to Curriculum Associates, the company that makes iReady, these assessments are an “adaptive Diagnostic for reading and mathematics [that] pinpoints student need down to the sub-skill level, and [provides] ongoing progress monitoring [to] show whether students are on track to achieve end-of-year targets.”

The Fairfax County Public Schools website further asserts that iReady is a “tool that has the potential to streamline Responsive Instruction processes, promote early identification and remediation of difficulties and improve student achievement.”

While I have found this assessment deeply troubling all year, it has taken me a while to be able to articulate exactly why I think this assessment is so dangerous, and why I think we need to use our voices as teachers, administrators and parents to speak out against it.*

So, let’s get back to the claim in the title of this blog post. iReady is dangerous. This might sound like hyperbole. After all, this is just a test, right? In this era of public schooling, children take many assessments, some more useful than others, so what’s the big deal with iReady?…

Based on the scores, iReady generates a report for each student for each of the domains. The report offers a bulleted list of what the student can do and next steps for instruction. However, if you take a look at the finer print you’ll learn that these reports are not generated from the specific questions that the child answered correctly or incorrectly, but rather are a generic list based on what iReady thinks that students who score in this same range in this domain likely need.

The teacher can never see the questions the child answered correctly or incorrectly, nor can she even access a description of the kinds of questions the child answered correctly or incorrectly. The most a teacher will ever know is that a child scored poorly, for example, in number and operations. Folks, that is a giant category, and far too broad to be actionable.

But above all else, the iReady Universal Screener is a dangerous assessment because it is a dehumanizing assessment. The test strips away all evidence of the students’ thinking, of her mathematical identity, and instead assigns broad and largely meaningless labels. The test boils down a student’s entire mathematical identity to a generic list of skills that “students like her” generally need, according to iReady. And yet despite its lumping of students into broad categories, iReady certainly doesn’t hesitate to offer very specific information about what a child likely can do and what next instructional steps should be.

Read on. See her examples. What do you think?