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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.

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Stop Searching for the Holy Grail: Responding to COVID-19 Achievement Gaps

Since school closures and remote learning became the norm, I have received emails from school and district leaders relevant to COVID-19 achievement gaps asking some variation of this question:

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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.  

New & Noteworthy

Recent Centerline Blog Posts

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Educating Pablo: A Play About Through Course Assessment Systems

Various states have advanced through-course proposals, in which states administer tests throughout the year rather than only once at the end. Some of these proposals come through the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA). Others are externally funded initiatives or proposed as a one-time spring 2021 replacement for traditional end-of-year state tests.

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It Might Just be a Pile of Bricks! 

“…a collection of assessments does not entail a system any more than a pile of bricks entails a house.” Coladarci (2002)

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Implementing an Innovative State Assessment System While We’re Still Building It: 

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expecting different results. Recently, I have been thinking about how this adage applies to innovative state assessment systems—those systems states are developing that offer new ways of measuring student proficiency for use in state accountability systems. I have concluded that one of the reasons that successful innovation in state assessment systems has been so rare is that we continue to ask states to implement innovative assessment systems before the state or the system is ready.