Photo of Home Schooling

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.

Learn more

image

Letting Go of Labels in School Accountability Systems

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which is the current reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), contains federal accountability requirements wherein all states must create an accountability system for identifying schools for support on the basis of a collection of indicators, with the majority of weight given to statewide achievement tests scores. ESSA refers to this requirement as “Annual Meaningful Differentiation” and prescribes the aggregation of information across accountability indicators.

image

Classroom Assessment Literacy is Needed Now More Than Ever

The pandemic has surfaced disparities among students with respect to equitable educational access, opportunities, and outcomes in new ways. For example, simple differences in learning environments (e.g., remote, hybrid, in-person) likely result in considerable variation as to where students are starting and ending their learning journeys this year and into next year. This situation creates a heightened awareness of how important it is to collect meaningful information about student progress toward proficiency at the classroom level. Enter the need for classroom assessment literacy. 

image

Could Two Through Year Assessment Designs Provide Both Summative and Instructional Information?

In a past post, I showed the logical conflict that exists for an assessment to claim to provide both end-of-the-year summative evidence and instructionally-useful evidence intended to improve student learning within the year.

image

Why Has it Been So Difficult to Develop a Viable Through Year Assessment?

There has been a buzz that “through year” or “through course” assessment represents a better way for states to assess than today’s pervasive end of the year summative assessment.  However, no through year assessment has yet been implemented statewide with results acknowledged as acceptable for use comparable to end of year summative assessment scores.

Why Has it Been so Difficult to Get a Viable Through Year Assessment?

image

Focus, Fix, Fit: Understanding the Meaning of 2021 Test Scores

To answer the question of what 2021 test scores will mean, I start by acknowledging that the interpretation of assessment results is always a process of reasoning from evidence, with some level of uncertainty. As with all things COVID, we expect to have more uncertainty this year, but we still have the tools to examine just how uncertain we are about the meaning of test scores in 2021.

image

Practical Advice for Adapting Formative Assessment Practices to Remote Learning Contexts

In a previous post, we discussed what is the same and what is different about the formative assessment process in a remote or hybrid learning environment in comparison to in-person learning. We concluded that conceptually formative assessment remains the same. Yet, practically there are key differences in how formative assessment is applied in remote contexts because of differences in instructional, student, and environmental characteristics.

image

Understanding Pandemic Learning Loss and Learning Recovery 

As of January 2021, the United States is almost completely in the dark as to the pandemic’s impact on student learning. In our recent publication, Understanding Pandemic Learning Loss and Learning Recovery: The Role of Student Growth & Statewide Testing we show how spring 2021 assessment data and student growth results derived from it put states in a position to address critical questions regarding academic learning loss.

image

Accountability as a Roadblock to Assessment Reform

Many of us at the Center for Assessment have led assessment reform for decades, including such noteworthy programs as the Kentucky writing and math portfolios, Wyoming’s Body of Evidence System, and Rhode Island’s Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements. Most recently, we have supported several state leaders in gaining approval for the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to design assessment systems that elevate teaching and learning.

image

Reflections From a Decade of Fall Testing

When spring state testing was abruptly canceled last year, one of the first options considered briefly was administering the Spring 2020 state tests in the fall – when it was expected that students and teachers would have returned to their classrooms – and life would be back to normal. One year later, we are facing the same consideration. 

New & Noteworthy

Recent Centerline Blog Posts

image

What Leads to Positive Changes in Student Learning?

This is the third post by one of our 2021 summer interns based on their project and the assessment and accountability issues they are addressing this summer with their Center mentors. Sarah Wellberg, from the University of Colorado Boulder, is working with Carla Evans to investigate issues related to the relationship between the use of complex performance assessments and efforts to promote instructional practices that improve student learning.

image

Considering Coherence in the Collection and Use of Opportunity-to-Learn Data

This is the second post by one of our 2021 summer interns based on their project and the assessment and accountability issues they are addressing this summer with their Center mentors. Dan Silver, from the University of Southern California, is working with Scott Marion on using opportunity-to-learn information to enhance the utility of state test scores and better understand schooling conditions during and after the pandemic.

image

It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

I was asked recently if the Center was producing assessment recommendations for back-to-school this fall. My first reaction was, “wait, didn’t we already do that?” When my pandemic-induced time fog finally cleared enough, I remembered that we produced a comprehensive set of recommendations with Rebecca Kockler and our colleagues at CCSSO for assessment in fall 2020.