The Center for Assessment’s Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS)

RILS offers a unique, collaborative learning opportunity for educators and assessment professionals across the country. Hear from some of our multi-year attendees about what makes the conference so special and how it helps support better assessment and accountability practices nationwide. This year’s conference focused on Improving the Selection, Use, and Evaluation of Interim Assessments.

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Beyond Faster and Cheaper, Could Automated Scoring Produce Better Scores?

Earlier this month, the Center for Assessment held its 15th annual colloquium, the first named in honor of Center co-founder, Brian Gong. The Brian Gong Colloquium is a two-day meeting arranged by the Center for Assessment to discuss select topics of importance in testing and accountability with recognized experts. 

The 2019 meeting focused on the present and future use of learning analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in educational assessment, and highlighted topics including:

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Stuck in the Middle With 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? 

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Discussing What Matters at the National Conference on Student Assessment

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.” 

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Understanding Nominal and Effective Weights in School Accountability Systems

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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.

New & Noteworthy

Recent Centerline Blog Posts

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Making the Most of the Summative State Assessment

This post is based on an invited presentation Charlie DePascale made at the nineteenth annual Maryland Assessment Research Center (MARC) conference at the University of Maryland on November 8, 2019.

“Our teachers are thrilled that the new summative state assessment is so much shorter. Now, what additional student scores can we report from it to help them improve instruction?”

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In Search of Simple Solutions for the NAEP Results

The 2019 NAEP results (National Assessment of Educational Progress) were released last week to much consternation, except perhaps in Mississippi and Washington, D.C., where improved results were celebrated.

Nationally, results were up slightly in fourth-grade math, flat in eighth-grade math, and down in both fourth and eighth-grade reading. These results continue a disturbing lack of progress over the last decade. 

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Do Interim Assessments Have A Role in Balanced Systems of Assessment?

Interim assessments may have a role in balanced assessment systems, but that role is not conferred by title. It is conferred by logic and evidence tied to particular purposes and uses.