Cory Borup

Senior High Teacher, David School District, Kaysville, UT

Avant STAMP / Reports / Seal of Biliteracy

“I used to despise the thought of a big exam at the end of the year. I don’t necessarily like AP exams. I initially viewed the STAMP as something similar, something that would cause unnecessary stress to both student and teacher. As an educator I also never really liked the idea of being told I “had” to do something. I felt it was an attempt to destroy my autonomy as a professional. Furthermore, I didn’t like the idea of being “judged” based off of student scores.

With experience, however, I learned that the exam could be a great tool to enhance my curriculum. I started to think about and develop curriculum, designed by me, to teach to the test, and use the test as a great summative assessment to drive a curriculum based on many formative assessments. Since the STAMP is scored in the 4 areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing, I began to create curriculum where students practice in all 4 of those areas daily. I do this without the use of a textbook for the most part, only to enhance a concept.

Coupled with Canvas (which I also despised the thought of at first,) The STAMP exam (and using it as a tool rather than a test,) has given me an opportunity to be more autonomous than any time before in my career. I am not tied down to a textbook. I can not only be autonomous and diverse, but also fluid in my teaching.  

The data the exam provides is merely a hard copy of what I see daily in class. For the most part I can predict the scores students will get on the exam based on classroom performance. I honestly like having the data for job security as well. It provides evidence of work well done.

Finally, the exam is of benefit to the student. It provides them with hard evidence of learning. If they qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy using the data from the exam they get to put that on resumes for the rest of their life. That is invaluable.”

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