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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.

Learn more

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Summative State Assessments Can Wait!

All states closed their schools in March and suspended or canceled annual state assessments. While the US Department of Education (USED) immediately waived state testing requirements for 2020, some states are contemplating the administration of their summative state assessments next fall; purportedly to help leaders and educators better understand and respond to the impact of school closures on student learning. Although this may seem appealing, these assessments are no better suited to informing instructional decisions than they have been in the past.

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Fall Educational Assessment: The Information You Need and How to Get It

Schools have dismissed students to enforce social distancing and have implemented remote learning for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. Learning has probably been more uneven than usual across students, classrooms, grades, schools, districts, and even states, which presents challenges for instructional planning, including planning for fall educational assessment. Selecting an appropriate assessment to inform instruction requires understanding what information you need, and what information the assessment provides

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Carpe Diem: Evolving Education After COVID-19

Graduates today, more than ever, will need to navigate the economic shifts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic by independently resetting goals, adapting quickly, and applying what they’ve learned to solve new and novel problems. Skills such as these are commonly known as the “21st Century skills” and during these changing times, the ability to demonstrate these skills may make the difference between success and failure.

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Program Evaluations under COVID-19

Juan D’Brot and the Center are pleased to host this post prepared by Juan with contributions from his colleagues on the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation: Brad Watts, Julie Morrison, and Jennifer Merriman. The JCSEE's mission is to develop and promote standards for conducting high-quality evaluations through the use of the Program Evaluation Standards.

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Remote Learning Provides an Opportunity to Rethink Assessment (and Learning)

Jal Mehta, author of In Search of Deeper Learning, was recently interviewed by Rick Hess about how to support deeper learning during the COVID-19 shutdown and remote learning.

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How Can We Continue Monitoring  Student Performance When We’re Losing Large-Scale Assessment Data? 

As seen by our growing list of recent CenterLine posts, professionals at the Center for Assessment are actively thinking about how to approach the loss of large-scale assessment and accountability data for this school year and its impact on monitoring student performance: 

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Dealing with Fallout from COVID-19 School Disruptions: What to do Next in Assessment and Accountability?

In late winter-early spring 2020, COVID-19 school disruptions became mainstream across the U.S. States and communities implemented policies for “social distancing,” resulting in students schooling from home, which interrupted state assessment schedules in every state. 

Canceling state assessments and local schooling have implications for several other state policies and programs, ranging from federal school accountability designations to determining how students could earn credits and graduate.

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Issues and Considerations that the COVID-19 Pandemic Presents for Measuring Student Growth

The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) global pandemic is having far-reaching effects in all facets of our lives. The impact on student education has been discussed in general terms in the media relative to school closures, and we at the Center for Assessment have been adding to the conversation by giving our thoughts on how changes to statewide assessment administrations may impact state efforts toward measuring student growth for the current and subsequent academic years. 

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The Outlook for ESSA School Accountability After COVID-19

For those hoping for minimal disruption to ESSA school accountability, I have bad news and more bad news.    

The bad news is that school accountability as we know it is entirely offline for 2020. Before the calendar even flipped to April, the U.S. Department of Education granted waivers to all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Bureau of Indian Education.  

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Tongue Tied by Testing Terminology

City Year is an American education nonprofit organization founded in 1988 and dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. The organization partners with public schools in 29 high-need communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates. The Center for Assessment has been partnering with City Year for several months to help increase the assessment knowledge and skills of City Year staff. We’ve had the privilege of working with Will Scarbrough, the head of Student Analytics for City Year, on this project.

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.