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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 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.  

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It’s Been 20 Years. What Have We Learned?

Asking what we have learned is a fitting question with which to begin the twentieth convening of the Reidy Interactive Lecture Series. From its start, the philosophy of the Center for Assessment has been that we gain so much more from asking talented and committed professionals to reflect with us on that question than from simply standing in front of them and telling them what we have learned.

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Ready for RILS!

Much like the last 20 years, the 10 weeks since our first CenterLine post announcing the 2018 Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) have gone by in a blur.  In just a few days, the Center team will gather with educators, policy makers, assessment specialists, and researchers, old friends and new friends, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the 20th annual RILS conference.

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The Burden of Proof: A Call for Validation Plans and Evidence in Educational Programs

Educational policy makers, program designers, and intervention developers typically identify a problem and propose a solution to that problem. Likely, they have a lot of experience and expertise that informs the design of the solution to that problem–but how do they know the assessment design achieved the intended outcomes? 

When it comes to educational assessment systems, we should be asking ourselves two key questions: 

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How Much is Enough? 

Many schools have turned to competency-based education for meeting both equity and excellence goals. Competency-based education requires students to demonstrate mastery of key knowledge and skills rather than merely meeting some passing score “on average.” 

Local assessment data are often used to evaluate student mastery of identified competencies. There are many measurement challenges that arise when using assessments to support decisions about students’ competence. This blog focuses on one—sufficiency.

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When It Comes to Getting Summative Information from Interim Assessments, You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Nathan Dadey, Associate, Center for Assessment

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” is a well-known idiom. In the case of educational measurement, it reflects the dilemma posed by a requirement for a single, summative score, and might read something like: “you can’t get summative scores for accountability purposes without the secure administration of carefully constructed forms in a defined window.”

New & Noteworthy

Recent Centerline Blog Posts

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What Should We Do Next Year?

The Center’s Executive Director Scott Marion was asked recently to offer a short response to the question,“How can parents and policymakers know whether schools are making up for lost learning and addressing individual needs?” as part of a series on what it will take to reopen schools amid the pandemic sponsored by The Center on Reinventing Public Education, in partnership with T

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Getting Ahead of the Curve: Planning for Accurate Equating in 2021

We cannot know what classrooms and teaching will look like in the coming school year, but that doesn’t need to prevent states from planning ahead for accurately equating spring 2021 summative assessments. In making that statement we assume that those tests will happen and their blueprints and administration will be unaltered while acknowledging that the conditions of learning may be very different than in the past.

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Key Takeaways for Assessment in 2020-2021

Since mid-March, Center for Assessment associates and highly-respected guest authors have written multiple CenterLine posts and other papers addressing key aspects of assessment and accountability. We have been wrestling with this question since COVID-19 disrupted the 2019-2020 school year and forced the cancellation of spring 2020 state assessments: How can assessment best be used to support teachers and students during the 2020-2021 school year? Our ideas and advice over the past several months about assessment in 2020-2021 crystallized into the following key takeaways:

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