Stuck in the Middle With Interim Assessments

Improving the Selection, Use, and Evaluation of Interim Assessments

How do you select an interim assessment that will meet your specific goals and needs?  

What assessment characteristics are necessary to support a particular test use, and what evidence of quality should be evaluated to determine whether that use is supported? 

How do you know if educators and schools are appropriately interpreting and using assessment results? 

read more

Discussing What Matters at the National Conference on Student Assessment

The Latest Insights, Innovations, and Ongoing Inquiries in Assessment and Accountability from the Center Team and Our Partners

Each June, the Center team and our partners gather with others around the country for the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Conference on Student Assessment to share our work on K-12 assessment and accountability matters. 

CCSSO has said about this year’s upcoming event, “the goal of the 2019 conference is to give states a forum to share the best practices, strategies, research studies, resources, and innovative methods when measuring student learning and holding districts and schools accountable for educational progress.” 

read more

Understanding Nominal and Effective Weights in School Accountability Systems

Weights Assigned to Indicators May Not Reflect Their Actual Contribution to Final Scores

States give a lot of weight to the weights given to the indicators in their accountability systems. Decisions such as whether Achievement and Growth should count equally, and how much impact the School Quality and School Success indicator should have on a school’s final rating, can be quite difficult to make–and even more difficult to communicate effectively to local educators and other stakeholders. All too often, however, the weights states assign to indicators don't reflect the actual influence each indicator has on a school’s composite score and accountability rating.

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Assessment Dashboards, Reports, and Open Analytics

Supporting State Department of Education Staff with Internal Decision Making

The results of educational assessments have never been more visible. Over the past 20 years, the reporting of state assessment results has shifted from oft-ignored printed handouts to publicly-available online dashboards and report cards. Parents, schools, and the general public have an almost unheard of level of access to data describing school performance.

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An Unfinished Track to College and Career Readiness

How we can use state assessment effectively to support a K-12 path that leads to postsecondary success

Between 2008 and 2010, I made regular trips to Washington, DC through Dulles Airport, working on projects related to the development of the Common Core State Standards and the creation of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium. As I rode an airport shuttle or Metrobus to and from Dulles, I would watch the crews grading and preparing the track bed for the Silver Line Metro train that would finally connect Dulles with the rest of the DC Metro system.  

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Don’t Go Changing: The Importance of Stability in State Assessment and Accountability Systems

Frequent Changes to State Assessment Systems Place Educational Improvement on Shaky Ground.

“We just administered our third assessment in the past five years.” 

“That’s nothing; we’re on our fifth assessment in the past four years.” 

I wish these were fictional statements, but as one of the coordinators of a working group of state assessment leaders, I regularly hear stories like these from many of our 40+ state participants. 

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A Matter of Indifference

Current Assessments May Require New Equating Methods and Procedures to Ensure Results will be Comparable Across Test Forms

One of the fundamental tenets of equating two tests is that it should be a matter of indifference to an examinee as to which of the two tests they take.  

When two or more students receive the same scale score on their state’s Grade 3 reading test, we want to be able to make the same inferences about their performance, even if they responded to almost entirely different sets of items.

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Preparing the Future with 2019 Summer Internships

Center Staff and Interns Will Address Key Issues in Assessment and Accountability

While Center staff and 2018 summer interns share their work at the NCME conference, planning is well underway for our 2019 summer internship program.  This summer, the Center will welcome six advanced doctoral students who will work with the Center’s professionals on projects with direct implications for state and national educational policy. Each intern will work with a Center mentor on one major project throughout the summer.

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Conference Season is Upon Us

Center Associates Prepare for the NCME and AERA Annual Meetings in Toronto

Warmer days, daffodils in bloom, and birds singing can only mean one thing besides the beginning of spring. It’s also the beginning of another busy conference season–and Center associates are hard at work fine-tuning their presentations.

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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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FEATURED INITIATIVES

 
Core Work Icon

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

Scott Marion

This policy brief summarizes our paper, presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, on the design consid

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Charlie DePascale

NCME has begun work on producing the Fifth Edition of Educational Measurement, considered the bible in the field since the firs

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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 Stude

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Carla M. Evans image

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

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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

Stuck in the Middle With Interim Assessments

Improving the Selection, Use, and Evaluation of Interim Assessments

How do you select an interim assessment that will meet your specific goals and needs?  

What assessment characteristics are necessary to support a particular test use, and what evidence of quality should be evaluated to determine whether that use is supported? 

How do you know if educators and schools are appropriately interpreting and using assessment results? 

read more

Discussing What Matters at the National Conference on Student Assessment

The Latest Insights, Innovations, and Ongoing Inquiries in Assessment and Accountability from the Center Team and Our Partners

Each June, the Center team and our partners gather with others around the country for the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Conference on Student Assessment to share our work on K-12 assessment and accountability matters. 

CCSSO has said about this year’s upcoming event, “the goal of the 2019 conference is to give states a forum to share the best practices, strategies, research studies, resources, and innovative methods when measuring student learning and holding districts and schools accountable for educational progress.” 

read more

Understanding Nominal and Effective Weights in School Accountability Systems

Weights Assigned to Indicators May Not Reflect Their Actual Contribution to Final Scores

States give a lot of weight to the weights given to the indicators in their accountability systems. Decisions such as whether Achievement and Growth should count equally, and how much impact the School Quality and School Success indicator should have on a school’s final rating, can be quite difficult to make–and even more difficult to communicate effectively to local educators and other stakeholders. All too often, however, the weights states assign to indicators don't reflect the actual influence each indicator has on a school’s composite score and accountability rating.

read more