The Center at NCSA 2018

State assessment teams, assessment industry staff, and other assessment specialists gather each June at the CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment.  Historically, the annual conference provides an opportunity for the Center team and our partners to share innovative solutions and our latest thinking on the most pressing assessment and accountability issues of the day. This year, seven Center team members participated in eleven sessions over the three-day conference: Chris Domaleski, Carla Evans, Brian Gong, Leslie Keng, Erika Landl, Scott Marion, and Joseph Martineau

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The Center at 20: Reliability of No Child Left Behind Accountability Designs

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting key pieces of work from the Center’s first twenty years.  Each post will feature a document, set of tools, or body of work in areas such as large-scale assessment, accountability systems, growth, educator evaluation, learning progressions, and assessment systems. In keeping with the Center’s 20th anniversary theme, Leveraging the Lessons of the Past, our goal is to apply the lessons learned from this past work to help us improve assessment and accountability practices for the future.

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When it Comes to School Ratings, Meaning Matters

What’s in a Grade, Anyway?

Letter grades are a popular way to describe performance. I’m referring to those same letter grades you received in school - A to F.  We all know that the coveted A is “superb,” and an F warns that performance is completely deficient. What’s a C?  Perhaps it is used to communicate “good enough” (but not great), or possibly it means “average.” Should we worry that those are often two different things?  

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A Look Back and a Look Ahead After 20 Years of Assessment and Accountability Work

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

It’s been 20 years, and everyone at The Center for Assessment is excited to celebrate this milestone anniversary with a very special Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS). 

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The Need for Program Evaluation to Support Accountability Implementation

Even the best designs still have a burden of proof.

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

National Center for the Improvement of Educational 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

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

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.

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FEATURED INITIATIVES

 
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

The paper, presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, presents a discussion of design

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Charlie DePascale

Charlie DePascale and Chris Domaleski collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) to produce a novel paper,

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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

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Carla Evans and Chris Domaleski prepared a technical brief with the National Center on Educational Outcomes to help states implement federal guid

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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

Preparing the Future with 2019 Summer Internships

Center Staff and Interns Will Address Key Issues in Assessment and Accountability

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

Center Associates Prepare for the NCME and AERA Annual Meetings in Toronto

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.

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Five Essential Features of Assessment for Learning

A Look at Fulfilling Hopes for Innovative Assessments and Instructional Utility

It may sound innovative to claim that commercial interim assessments support instruction, but simply saying it doesn’t make it so. 

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