Five Essential Features of Assessment for Learning

A Look at Fulfilling Hopes for Innovative Assessments and Instructional Utility

It may sound innovative to claim that commercial interim assessments support instruction, but simply saying it doesn’t make it so. 

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...Turn and Face the Strange World of Assessment

A Framework to Help State Assessment Teams Deal Effectively With Change

Heraclitus of Ephesus said that “The only thing that is constant is change.”  This observation certainly applies to K-12 assessment programs, as assessment transitions seem to be happening on a more frequent basis and at a more rapid pace in recent years. 

Consider the following information gathered from a recent informal survey of 21 states by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) about assessment transitions in the past few years:

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Considering Interim Assessments and Summative Information

Providing Flexibility to Schools and Districts while meeting ESSA Assessment Requirements

Getting the most out of any investment is common sense, and a sensical goal. In terms of school districts and states, these entities often make substantial investments into interim assessments with the aim of supporting classroom instruction and district decision making.

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Re-envisioning Performance Standards Validation

Taking a Principled Approach to Evaluating Reporting Scales and Performance Standards when Modifications are Made to Assessments

For a variety of reasons—political, psychometric and practical—states are often required to modify their large-scale summative assessments. These changes may be significant, such as developing new assessments after the adoption of revised academic content standards, or minor, such as adding a couple items to an existing test blueprint. 

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Baby Steps: Moving Forward on Teacher Evaluation

Shifting From an Accountability to an Instructional Mindset for Teacher Evaluation

I was recently invited by Future Focused Education to share my thoughts on teacher evaluation for their blog. I contributed two posts about the insurmountable challenges of state-mandated teacher evaluation and the promise of coherent locally-based support and evaluation systems.

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Alignment Turns 25 This Year–So Now We Ask, What Are its Prospects?

The Road from Defining and Measuring Alignment to Effectively Using it in the Design of Assessments and Assessment Systems

Alignment turns 25 this year. Happy Birthday, Alignment! Alignment burst onto the K-12 assessment landscape with the Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) – the 1994 reauthorization of ESEA. Among other Title 1 requirements, IASA required states to develop “assessments aligned to challenging content and performance standards.”  

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What’s Next in State Accountability?

The Lack of Consistency in Accountability Results Across the Country Provokes  This Fundamental Question

States will soon publish (or have already published) the first results of their federally-mandated accountability systems. 

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How to Plan for a Balanced Assessment System While Keeping Curriculum in Mind

An Approach to Promote Coherence by Connecting Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction to Student Learning

State and district leaders are increasingly interested in implementing balanced systems of assessment, in large part to improve the instructional utility of assessment scores. 

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How Did “On Track” Get So “Off Track”?

Colloquial Language is More Familiar, But Can be More Easily Misinterpreted When Reporting Test Results

With the proliferation of large-scale state summative assessments and published results, one could say that testing has gone mainstream. 

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Rethinking Accountability for Alternative High Schools 

The Problems with Applying Traditional Performance Ratings to Alternative Schools 

Alternative high schools serve a vital role in improving outcomes for students, particularly for those students who are most at risk. 

While there isn’t a uniform definition for “alternative,” the term typically describes a school that primarily serves students who have not been successful in a traditional environment. Alternative high schools often receive students with cumulative academic deficits and take on the vital work of helping students prepare for opportunities after high school. 

 

How Effective are Alternative High Schools?

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FEATURED INITIATIVES

 
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ESSA Accountability

Center associates are supporting more than a dozen states responding to the Every Student Succeeds Act with inventive and technically defensible accountability designs.

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Innovative Assessment Systems

The Center is leading the way in helping states and districts design and implement innovative assessment systems. The Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) project in New Hampshire is a notable example of the Center’s work in this area.

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Comparability

Assessment comparability continues to be a challenging topic. The Center is working with states and other partners to address comparability issues with consortium as well as with other innovative assessment systems.

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Center For Assessment
 

Are You Interested in Joining the Center Team?

The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (Center for Assessment) is searching for up to two exceptionally-qualified professionals to join our team. The Center hires deeply knowledgeable and accomplished professionals with demonstrated expertise in the design, implementation, and evaluation of assessment and accountability systems. Read More…

CENTER NEWS

Jeri Thompson
Text dependent analysis is much more than an item type on a state test. The Center is working with states and districts to understand the…

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Charlie DePascale
Charlie DePascale and Chris Domaleski collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) to produce a novel paper,…

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Juan D'Brot
Center staff developed a series of resources to support states as they implement their new statewide accountability systems under the Every Student…

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Carla Evans and Chris Domaleski prepared a technical brief with the National Center on Educational Outcomes to help states implement federal…

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The Center engages in deep partnerships with state and district education leaders to increase student learning through more meaningful educational assessment and accountability practices.

 

Blog Recent Posts

Five Essential Features of Assessment for Learning

A Look at Fulfilling Hopes for Innovative Assessments and Instructional Utility

It may sound innovative to claim that commercial interim assessments support instruction, but simply saying it doesn’t make it so. 

read more

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...Turn and Face the Strange World of Assessment

A Framework to Help State Assessment Teams Deal Effectively With Change

Heraclitus of Ephesus said that “The only thing that is constant is change.”  This observation certainly applies to K-12 assessment programs, as assessment transitions seem to be happening on a more frequent basis and at a more rapid pace in recent years. 

Consider the following information gathered from a recent informal survey of 21 states by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) about assessment transitions in the past few years:

read more

Considering Interim Assessments and Summative Information

Providing Flexibility to Schools and Districts while meeting ESSA Assessment Requirements

Getting the most out of any investment is common sense, and a sensical goal. In terms of school districts and states, these entities often make substantial investments into interim assessments with the aim of supporting classroom instruction and district decision making.

read more