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The Center for Assessment’s COVID-19 Response Resources

State and district leaders are facing multiple concerns in response to widespread and potential long-term school closures due to the growing threat of COVID-19. The concerns are broad and consequential. We launched this page to help you efficiently find the resources you need during these uncertain times.

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What We Can Learn From Bill Belichick About Assessment Literacy

Bill Belichick is a famous football coach known for his dry humor and non-answer answers to questions from the media. Coach Belichick holds many coaching records; including a record five Super Bowls as a head coach. One of his more famous quotes is “Do your job” and a big part of his success as a coach is preparing players to do their job well. You might not think Coach Belichick has a lot to offer in a discussion about assessment literacy, but I disagree. 

 

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How RILS Helps Define a Path Forward for Educational Assessment and Accountability

This post is one of several recapping the Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS), which the Center for Assessment held on September 27-28, 2018. This event marked the Center’s 20th anniversary, and we took advantage of the milestone to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. In particular, we wanted to take an honest look at what we’ve learned over the years and leverage these lessons to create a vision for more effective assessment and accountability practices in the future.

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20 Years of Problem Solving and a Positive Outlook for the Future

Note: The following remarks were delivered by Center for Assessment Executive Director Scott Marion at the Center’s 20th Anniversary Dinner on Sept. 26, 2018.

I’m thrilled to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment with so many people who have been so important to the Center and its success over the years. Isaac Newton once quipped, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Those of us working at the Center feel this way all the time.  

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It’s Been 20 Years. What Have We Learned?

Asking what we have learned is a fitting question with which to begin the twentieth convening of the Reidy Interactive Lecture Series. From its start, the philosophy of the Center for Assessment has been that we gain so much more from asking talented and committed professionals to reflect with us on that question than from simply standing in front of them and telling them what we have learned.

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Ready for RILS!

Much like the last 20 years, the 10 weeks since our first CenterLine post announcing the 2018 Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) have gone by in a blur.  In just a few days, the Center team will gather with educators, policy makers, assessment specialists, and researchers, old friends and new friends, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the 20th annual RILS conference.

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The Burden of Proof: A Call for Validation Plans and Evidence in Educational Programs

Educational policy makers, program designers, and intervention developers typically identify a problem and propose a solution to that problem. Likely, they have a lot of experience and expertise that informs the design of the solution to that problem–but how do they know the assessment design achieved the intended outcomes? 

When it comes to educational assessment systems, we should be asking ourselves two key questions: 

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How Much is Enough? 

Many schools have turned to competency-based education for meeting both equity and excellence goals. Competency-based education requires students to demonstrate mastery of key knowledge and skills rather than merely meeting some passing score “on average.” 

Local assessment data are often used to evaluate student mastery of identified competencies. There are many measurement challenges that arise when using assessments to support decisions about students’ competence. This blog focuses on one—sufficiency.

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When It Comes to Getting Summative Information from Interim Assessments, You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Nathan Dadey, Associate, Center for Assessment

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” is a well-known idiom. In the case of educational measurement, it reflects the dilemma posed by a requirement for a single, summative score, and might read something like: “you can’t get summative scores for accountability purposes without the secure administration of carefully constructed forms in a defined window.”

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Improving accountability: Where do we go from here?

By Chris Domaleski, Damian Betebenner, and Susan Lyons

In recent years, assessment and accountability have become charged terms to many. In fact, school accountability systems, influenced by results from standardized achievement tests, are among the most contentious aspects of contemporary education policy. 

But how did we get here–and where do we go? This ambitious topic is one of several we are poised to tackle at the Center’s annual Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) on September 27-28, 2018. 

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Data in Schools­–Understanding What it is, How it’s Used, and How We Can Improve

Discussions of data use in schools often lead to two commonly heard refrains:  

  1. “Educators are drowning in an ocean of data”
  2. “Schools are a data desert”

When a situation is characterized by such polar opposite viewpoints, it is a signal that there are fundamental challenges that must be understood and overcome. In this case, if there are data in schools, why aren’t those data being used effectively (or at all) by teachers to support their instructional decision-making? What are the challenges?

New & Noteworthy

Recent Centerline Blog Posts

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A Framework to  Support States in the Selection, Documentation, and Use of Test Accommodations

This is the fourth in a series of posts by our 2020 summer interns and their mentors based on their project and the assessment and accountability issues they addressed this summer. Maura O’Riordan, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, worked with Chris Domaleski to develop guidance to help states better understand the impact of assessment accommodations on the meaning and interpretation of test scores.

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Keeping up the PACE: Evaluating Grade 8 Student Achievement Outcomes for New Hampshire’s Innovative Assessment System

This is the third in a series of posts by our 2020 summer interns and their mentors based on their project and the assessment and accountability issues they addressed this summer. Alexandra Stone, from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, worked with Carla Evans on analyses to evaluate the effects on student achievement in the NH PACE program.

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Part 2: A Deep Dive into Summative Classroom Assessment in a Remote or Hybrid Learning Environment

Those responsible for summative classroom assessment in 2020-2021 face a number of daunting challenges, not the least of which is that the definition of “classroom” is wide and varied.