Taylor Swift, Headbanging, Summative Assessment & Actionable Information

Charlie DePascale, January 2014

Immediately following Taylor Swift’s performance during the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, Twitter exploded with reaction to Taylor’s emotional ‘headbanging’ while performing her ballad All Too Well. The hullaballoo made its way through internet news sites on Monday and should reach NBC News sometime next week or whenever Atlanta thaws out – whichever comes first. Although the seemingly convulsive movements were a surprise to millions, even the casual Swift observer knows that the violent head flip that sends her long hair flying is one of her go-to moves.

Washington DC, 2010
Washington DC, 2010
Greensboro NC, 2013
Greensboro NC, 2013
Mansfield MA, 2008
Mansfield MA, 2008

Any true Swiftie who followed the RED Tour last yearknew what to expect Sunday night during All Too Well and knows full body movements at the piano as a signature moment of any Taylor Swift concert since the Fearless Tour in 2009-2010.

Fearless Tour
Fearless Tour
Speak Now Tour
Speak Now Tour

How does this relate to summative assessments and actionable information?
Like the Grammy Awards, summative assessments may provide new and actionable information to policymakers not familiar with an individual student or school. However, for anyone with deeper knowledge of the individual student, for example, a teacher, the summative assessment, like the Grammy Awards, should confirm what we already knew and expected to see.

Published by Charlie DePascale

Charlie DePascale is an educational consultant specializing in the area of large-scale educational assessment. When absolutely necessary, he is a psychometrician. The ideas expressed in these posts are his (at least at the time they were written), and are not intended to reflect the views of any organizations with which he is affiliated personally or professionally..

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