Our Mission and Approach
The Center’s mission is to contribute to improved student achievement through enhanced policies and practices in educational assessment and accountability. We carry out our mission by working with states and other educational agencies to design and implement effective assessment and accountability policies and programs.
We live in exciting times in education. States are trying to implement the federal “No Child Left Behind Act” in valid and reliable ways that reflect local values and circumstances.
State legislatures in record numbers are continuing to raise educational standards and improve student performance. Whether these initiatives take the form of grass roots campaigns or state mandates, nearly all states seek to develop new programs to measure and report on school and district progress in reaching specified goals that mandate new testing programs with high stakes for students, schools, and districts. Accountability systems are based on these assessment programs and measure and report on school and district progress in reaching specified goals. Policymakers, educators, students, and the public agree that the stakes are high – and likely to become higher.
State and district educational staffs are often called upon to do more with less. They frequently lack the time, funds, or expertise to develop sound, effective assessment programs. Moreover, without help educators are hard-pressed to make the changes in curriculum and instruction necessary to meet the demands of accountability systems. All agree that assessment and accountability systems must be carefully designed and implemented if they are to have a positive impact on student achievement.
The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc. (Center for Assessment) was founded to address the changes currently underway in assessment and accountability in the United States.
Who We Are
The Center for Assessment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1998 whose mission is to foster improved student achievement through enhanced policies and practices educational assessment and accountability. The Center staff brings extensive experience in all aspects of large-scale assessment and accountability, development, operations, and policy formation from multiple perspectives. The Center staff has worked in development companies, state departments of education and as university faculty. Center staff members experience includes being president of a large test development company, state assessment director, state director of gifted education, and director of psychometric services for a private testing company. To date the Center has had contracts with over 30 states. Center staff have also served in national professional organizations, on national boards, and worked extensively with agencies including the U.S. Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Research Council and the National Center for Educational Outcomes.
The Center offers consulting services in many areas related to assessment and accountability. These include our Technical Advisory Committees (TACs), the Reidy Interactive Lecture Series, design and analysis of custom assessment and accountability systems, data modeling and analysis, workshops, briefings, documentation, and public relations aimed at the assessment community. The Center focuses on both technical and practical issues that promote the effectiveness of educational assessment and accountability programs.