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. The 2019 conference focused on Improving the Selection, Use, and Evaluation of Interim Assessments. Hear how some of our invited speakers and Center team addressed overcoming interim assessment challenges within school districts to improve local assessment systems.

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The Center for Assessment - 20 Years and Going Strong

The Center for Assessment celebrated its 20th anniversary in September with many long-time friends, and the celebration was highlighted by our 20th Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) where Center professionals reflected on the past and offered a vision for the future. 

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A Post-Mortem on Maine’s Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirement

The Maine legislature passed a proficiency-based (also known elsewhere as competency-based or mastery-based) graduation requirement in 2012, which was recently repealed before it was implemented. 

The repeal prompts us to ask several questions: What went wrong with Maine’s proficiency-based diploma initiative that prompted its repeal? What lessons can be learned to help other states implementing similar policies or pursuing similar initiatives? What can help mitigate some of the concerns that led to the repeal?

 

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Federal, State, and Local School Accountability

Over the last two decades, the focus of school accountability has shifted from schools and districts to state accountability systems developed to meet federal requirements.  

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The Need for Program Evaluation to Support Accountability Implementation

When I last discussed the need for program evaluation to support accountability implementation, I used the unwelcome issue of car trouble to frame the need for evaluation when designing, developing, and implementing accountability systems. Now, with temperatures dropping as we move through fall, I want to reference a pleasing summer activity–outdoor grilling–to differentiate between formative and summative evaluation. 

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Text Dependent Analysis for 21st Century Education

The world of work in the 21st Century requires that people are able to critically read and analyze a variety of texts and other literacy materials. Text dependent analysis (TDA) is a curriculum and assessment tool to help prepare students for these literacy demands. 

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Stop Training the Trainers

“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.

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Designing a Coherent System of Accountability Across ESSA and Perkins V

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. 

 

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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. 

 

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

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.

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

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.  

New & Noteworthy

Recent Centerline Blog Posts

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Is Our Work in Educational Assessment and Accountability Helping to Improve Student Learning and the Student Experience?

As 2019 drew to a close I had the chance to reflect on the conversations I've had with many of my colleagues throughout the year, and one topic of conversation that sticks out to me is frustration about the minimal value-add of work focused on large scale assessment and state-level accountability systems to the student experience. 

Developing a Better Understanding the Role of Assessment and Accountability in Improving Student Outcomes

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Teaching to the Test

In his CenterLine post, Can Educational Assessment Improve Teaching?, Executive Director Scott Marion invited readers to share their thoughts on the complex, but critical issue of identifying ways that assessments can be used to improve teaching quality. In this guest post, we share Kadie Wilson’s response to Scott’s invitation. Kadie Wilson is Assistant Superintendent in New Hampshire School Administrative Unit #9.

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Travels with Charlie: A Reflection on the Timeless, Valued Work of a Longtime Center for Assessment Colleague

The end of the decade signified the end of an era here at the Center for Assessment; Charlie DePascale officially retired on December 31, 2019, after more than 17 years as a Senior Associate.