CenterLine

Our goal is to support your school, district or state in navigating assessment and accountability to help improve student learning. Here, we share the latest news and views from the Center for Assessment team.

    Blog posts

    How Did “On Track” Get So “Off Track”?

    Colloquial Language is More Familiar, But Can be More Easily Misinterpreted When Reporting Test Results

    With the proliferation of large-scale state summative assessments and published results, one could say that testing has gone mainstream. 

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    Assessment systems

    Rethinking Accountability for Alternative High Schools 

    The Problems with Applying Traditional Performance Ratings to Alternative Schools 

    Alternative high schools serve a vital role in improving outcomes for students, particularly for those students who are most at risk. 

    While there isn’t a uniform definition for “alternative,” the term typically describes a school that primarily serves students who have not been successful in a traditional environment. Alternative high schools often receive students with cumulative academic deficits and take on the vital work of helping students prepare for opportunities after high school. 

     

    How Effective are Alternative High Schools?

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    Assessment

    The Center for Assessment - 20 Years and Going Strong

    Highlights from 2018 at the Center for Assessment and Setting the Stage for 2019 and Beyond

    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

    Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Next Steps

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(also known elsewhere as competency-based or mastery-based) graduation requirement in 2012, which was recently repealed before it was implemented.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

    The Ways in Which Each Group Plays a Part in Improving Student Learning

    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

    How Summer Grilling Illustrates the Differences Between Formative and Summative Evaluation

    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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    Assessment

    Text Dependent Analysis for 21st Century Education

    An Item Type to Drive Deeper Instruction and Improve Curriculum Decisions

    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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    Assessment

    Stop Training the Trainers

    Moving Toward a Research-based Approach for Improving Assessment Literacy

    “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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    Accountability

    Designing a Coherent System of Accountability Across ESSA and Perkins V

    How Considering ESSA and Perkins V as Complementary Parts of a Larger Accountability System Can Help States be Better Aligned with Both

    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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    Assessment Literacy Assessment

    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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