2021 Reidy Interactive Lecture Series: Design Innovation in Educational Assessment Systems

Join us as we step back and address how states can employ lessons from design thinking as they attempt to create innovative assessment systems this year for RILS 2021 virtual conference.

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The Need for Program Evaluation to Support Accountability Implementation

Accountability systems are supposed to incentivize behavior that promotes equity in educational opportunity and leads to positive student outcomes. But how do we really know? Even the best designs still have a burden of proof. Applying program evaluation principles that use school identification are powerful tools to examine accountability's impact, usefulness, and relevance. Program evaluation facilitates the collection, use, and interpretation of the right information to improve or understand a system or its impact. 

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Following Their Lead: Some Thoughts About Student-Led Assessment

Student-led assessment has become the umbrella term for describing the range of approaches by which students are involved in collecting and evaluating evidence of their learning. This contrasts with more traditional approaches where the teacher or an entity outside of the classroom (e.g., district, state) dictates the assessment process. Student- or teacher-led assessment is not a simple dichotomy.

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Assessment Flexibility for States under ESSA: Highlights from New Hampshire’s Innovative Assessment Application

New Hampshire was one of three U.S. entities that submitted an application for flexibility under the Every Student Succeeds Act (Section 1204: Innovative Assessment and Accountability Demonstration Authority) in the first application window. Broadly, this authority allows states to pilot an innovative assessment system in a subset of schools for up to seven years, as states scale the assessment system statewide.

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It’s in the Details: Let’s be Specific about the Uses of Assessment Results

“We have selected Assessment XYZ to improve teaching and learning in our district.” This is a common refrain heard from many school and district leaders. However, such refrains must be translated into actionable guidance – all those involved designing, implementing and leading programs of assessment need to do a better job explaining how assessment results can and should be used. Often district assessments take the form of off-the-shelf interim or benchmark assessments, but district-developed assessments or assessment batteries are also common.

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maaps Project Update: Providing a comprehensive picture of school quality and success

Over the past year and a half I have had the pleasure of working with the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps). The 85 maaps schools serve a highly individually diverse population of students with special needs. Students are typically placed in a maaps school by their home public school district due to the severity of their needs.

New & Noteworthy

Henry Braun
Incoming Chair of the Center’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Henry Braun, just received the prestigious E.F. Lindquist Award from the American Educational…

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Recent Centerline Blog Posts

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Why Have Many (All?) Approaches to Improve K-12 Educator Assessment Literacy Failed to Produce Significant Changes in Teacher Practices at Scale?

Most of us would agree that if the problem of improving K-12 educator assessment literacy has not been solved, it is not because of a lack of trying. A quick search of books with “assessment literacy” in the title, or a more general search for books on formative assessment or classroom assessment, returns many excellent resources written by esteemed researchers, practitioners, and scholars.

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Using Assessment to Support Learning Acceleration: It Takes a System! 

The Oklahoma State Department of Education’s (OSDE) highest priority is keeping students and staff safe so that we can focus on learning acceleration for all students. We are also intensely focused on how assessment can be used to help address these instructional and learning needs.  To this end, in this post, I discuss the importance of a balanced system of assessment and of being very intentional about the specific purposes and uses of types of assessment within that system, especially those intended to be used to support student learning and improved instruction. 

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Addressing the Accountability Challenge of Missing Data With A Performance Profile

In a previous post I discussed the challenges of rebuilding accountability systems developed for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2021-2022. Prominent among these challenges is missing data due to multiple years of pandemic-related disruptions. What are the best alternatives to solve this problem? In this post I’ll suggest a tool, the performance profile, that may help address the issue of partially missing data.