2019 Reidy Interactive Lecture Series

Improving the Selection, Use and Evaluation of Interim Assessments


September 26th – 27th, 2019
Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center
100 Deer Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801


Purchase tickets here

Draft Agenda

Conference Overview

State and local education leaders are constantly working to develop assessment systems that provide schools and educators with an accurate, comprehensive profile of student performance. In most cases these systems include a combination of state summative assessment administered at the end of the year and locally developed or selected formative assessment tools used during instruction. These assessments are intended to work together in a coherent, strategic manner to inform instruction and improve educational decision making.

Some states, alone as a part of a consortium, have tried to develop assessments to fill the information gap between state-developed summative assessments of learning and classroom-directed formative assessment for learning, but several districts and states have turned to the multitude of commercially-developed off-the-shelf products broadly referred to as interim assessments. While many of these tools are thoughtfully designed to provide on-demand, user-friendly information about student and aggregate performance they are only useful to the extent that they meet a district’s specific assessment needs. Different tools are designed to support different purposes and uses, and no tool will support all uses equally well. For this reason, state- and commercially-developed interim assessments must be selected and evaluated in light of a prioritized set of goals and a clear vision of the role the assessment is intended to play within the existing assessment system.

The goal of RILS 2019 is to help states and districts make better informed decisions about the appropriateness and utility of different interim assessments options. During the day and a half meeting we will hear from assessment experts, state and district representatives, and practitioners with experience selecting, using and evaluating interim assessments. Conference participants will also work in small groups to review and extend a tool developed specifically to help state and district leaders engage in a thoughtful, comprehensive process focused on identifying assessments that will meet their specific needs.

Through presentations, invited panels and small work groups we will address a series of questions that are foundational to the selection, use, and evaluation of interim assessments:

  • What factors should a state or district consider prior to considering different interim assessment options?
  • What questions should be addressed to clarify the desired characteristics and features of an interim assessment solution (e.g., content representation, frequency and timing of administration, reporting details)?
  • How does the intended use of an interim assessment influence decisions about necessary design, administration and reporting characteristics?
  • What type of evidence should be prioritized when evaluating the technical quality of an interim assessment for a particular purpose and use?
  • How do you evaluate whether an interim assessment, once in place, is being used as intended and supporting the attainment of the goals for which it was selected?

Through these discussions we will determine what, if any modifications or additional resources re necessary to ensure the tool will be clear and useful when posted for broader distribution.

For an overview of the structure of RILS 2019 please review the draft agenda.

For additional information on improving the selection, use, and evaluation of interim assessments you may visit our recent blog post.