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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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What Do I Need to Know About Competency-Based Grading?

This post is the last in my three-part series on competency-based grading. In Part 1, I describe the key similarities and differences between traditional, standards-based, and competency-based grading practices.

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What Do I Need to Know About Competency-Based Grading?

This post is Part 2 of a three-part series on competency-based grading. Part 1 described the key similarities and differences between traditional, standards-based, and competency-based grading practices. 

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What Do I Need to Know About Competency-Based Grading?

This is the first in a three-part series on competency-based grading. I was motivated to write this series because of recent conversations about competency-based grading within my children’s school district. I’ve noticed confusion about terms, misinformation, propaganda, and a general lack of high-quality resources on the subject. My goal for this series is to help guide honest and transparent conversations about key issues and best practices by: 

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Beyond Faster and Cheaper, Could Automated Scoring Produce Better Scores?

Earlier this month, the Center for Assessment held its 15th annual colloquium, the first named in honor of Center co-founder, Brian Gong. The Brian Gong Colloquium is a two-day meeting arranged by the Center for Assessment to discuss select topics of importance in testing and accountability with recognized experts. 

The 2019 meeting focused on the present and future use of learning analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in educational assessment, and highlighted topics including:

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Stuck in the Middle With Interim Assessments

How do you select an interim assessment that will meet your specific goals and needs?  

What assessment characteristics are necessary to support a particular test use, and what evidence of quality should be evaluated to determine whether that use is supported? 

How do you know if educators and schools are appropriately interpreting and using assessment results? 

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Discussing What Matters at the National Conference on Student Assessment

Each June, the Center team and our partners gather with others around the country for the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Conference on Student Assessment to share our work on K-12 assessment and accountability matters. 

CCSSO has said about this year’s upcoming event, “the goal of the 2019 conference is to give states a forum to share the best practices, strategies, research studies, resources, and innovative methods when measuring student learning and holding districts and schools accountable for educational progress.” 

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Understanding Nominal and Effective Weights in School Accountability Systems

States give a lot of weight to the weights given to the indicators in their accountability systems. Decisions such as whether Achievement and Growth should count equally, and how much impact the School Quality and School Success indicator should have on a school’s final rating, can be quite difficult to make–and even more difficult to communicate effectively to local educators and other stakeholders. All too often, however, the weights states assign to indicators don't reflect the actual influence each indicator has on a school’s composite score and accountability rating.

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Assessment Dashboards, Reports, and Open Analytics

The results of educational assessments have never been more visible. Over the past 20 years, the reporting of state assessment results has shifted from oft-ignored printed handouts to publicly-available online dashboards and report cards. Parents, schools, and the general public have an almost unheard of level of access to data describing school performance.

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An Unfinished Track to College and Career Readiness

Between 2008 and 2010, I made regular trips to Washington, DC through Dulles Airport, working on projects related to the development of the Common Core State Standards and the creation of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium. As I rode an airport shuttle or Metrobus to and from Dulles, I would watch the crews grading and preparing the track bed for the Silver Line Metro train that would finally connect Dulles with the rest of the DC Metro system.  

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Don’t Go Changing: The Importance of Stability in State Assessment and Accountability Systems

“We just administered our third assessment in the past five years.” 

“That’s nothing; we’re on our fifth assessment in the past four years.” 

I wish these were fictional statements, but as one of the coordinators of a working group of state assessment leaders, I regularly hear stories like these from many of our 40+ state participants. 

New & Noteworthy

Recent Centerline Blog Posts

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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?

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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.

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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.