Stop Training the Trainers

Moving Toward a Research-based Approach for Improving Assessment Literacy

“Train-the-trainers” is commonly employed as an approach for attempting to spread new learning from individuals who attended a professional development experience to others who did not attend. Unfortunately, this model often works like the children’s game of “telephone”, where the message is mangled by the time it gets around the circle. I am struck that “train-the-trainers” continues to be so popular with so little evidence that it works to improve the implementation of complex knowledge and skills.

read more

Designing a Coherent System of Accountability Across ESSA and Perkins V

How Considering ESSA and Perkins V as Complementary Parts of a Larger Accountability System Can Help States be Better Aligned with Both

For the last several years, I have been working with several states developing accountability systems. These systems must meet the federal requirements outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), comply with the requests and priorities defined by stakeholders, and align with the state’s vision for increasing college and career readiness for all students. In fact, the increased attention to career and college readiness is a common high point among states’ ESSA plans. 

 

read more

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. 

 

read more

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

A Vision for More Effective Practices in the Future

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.

read more

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

Reflections on the Center’s Efforts to Improve Educational Assessment and Accountability

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.  

read more

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

Key Takeaways from the Reidy Interactive Lecture Series in its 20th Year

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.

read more

Ready for RILS!

The Center at 20: Leveraging the lessons of the past to improve the impact of assessment and accountability practices

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.

read more

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

Why Evaluation of Educational System Designs is Critical to Measuring Effectiveness and Results

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: 

read more

How Much is Enough? 

Sufficiency Considerations for Competency-Based Assessment Systems

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.

read more

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.”

read more
 

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.

READ MORE

Resources Icon

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.

READ MORE

Impact Icon

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.

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

Charlie DePascale

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

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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

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.  

read more

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. 

read more

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.

read more