Our goal is to support your school, district, or state in navigating assessment and accountability to help improve student learning.

The complex and multi-faceted problems we face rarely have a single or simple solution. On CenterLine, we encourage the Center team and guest authors to present a diversity of viewpoints, and an author’s view may evolve as conditions change and understandings grow.

CenterLine posts, unless specifically noted, are not official views of the Center for Assessment.

    Blog posts

    State Testing Learning Acceleration Educational Assessment Balanced Assessment Systems Assessment Systems

    Selecting the Right Assessments to Monitor School Recovery from the Pandemic 

    Assessment Selection is Like Picking the Right Golf Club

    In a previous post, I (Juan) argued for the importance of a variety of tools in your assessment toolbox to help monitor recovery efforts as we come out of (or continue to wade our way through) the pandemic. In this post, we expand a bit more on assessment selection, and the types of assessments, or tools, that can be used to monitor recovery efforts and confirm evidence of progress. 

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    Monitoring COVID Recovery Efforts

    Educational Assessments are Simply Tools in your Toolbox

    “If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.” -Abraham Maslow (circa 1966, as adapted from an even older British saying).

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    Lead with the Reports

    What I learned about creating effective test score reports from the great Ron Hambleton

    Sadly, one of the giants in the field of educational measurement has recently passed away – Dr. Ron Hambleton. The fact that Ron was one of the most prodigious and acclaimed scholars in our field is undisputed. A list of his works is astonishing in its breadth and influence, and his accolades are unmatched. Despite this, he wasn’t a distant ‘ivory tower’ professor. Communicating in ways that reached broad audiences was one of his passions – one that came through in his works, including books that an entire generation of measurement students studied. I was one of those students.

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    Assessment Literacy Accountability Performance Assessment Educational Assessment Center Updates

    2022 Summer Internships: Improving Educational Assessment and Accountability

    Center Staff and Interns Look Toward the Future of Educational Assessment and Accountability

    After two productive but virtual summers, we are looking forward to working side-by-side with our new group of summer interns to support the future of educational assessment and accountability through our 2022 summer internship program

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    Validity Educational Assessment State Assessment Educational Measurement

    Advancing Contemporary Validity Theory and Practice

    Based on Remarks Given During a Town Hall Session at the 2022 NCME Conference

    I was honored to participate in a validity “town hall” at last week’s NCME conference with Suzanne Lane, my co-author of the validity chapter in the upcoming 5th edition of Educational Measurement, and Greg Cizek, Professor of Education at the University of North Carolina. It’s no secret that Greg and I have had some disagreements about validity theory and validation over the years, particularly about the role of consequences. It was a lively session, but Jon Twing, Senior VP at Pearson, kept control of things as the moderator.

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    State Assessment Curriculum-Aligned Assessment Educational Assessment Large-Scale Assessment

    In Search of the “Just Right” Connection Between Curriculum and Assessment

    Considering Options Between Curriculum-Specific and Curriculum-Agnostic State Assessment

    State summative assessments are intentionally designed to be curriculum-agnostic. The design of these state assessments ignores the various instructional materials and other curriculum implementation decisions on purpose, instead focusing on the disciplinary standards. The underlying logic of this approach makes sense: each discipline’s standards represent a (relatively) agreed-upon set of end-of-instruction goals for learning, and while there may be many paths (i.e., curricula) to achieving that goal, the point of state assessment is to determine whether the goal was accomplished. 

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    NCME AERA Educational Measurement Covid-19 Disruptions Learning Recovery Education Policy Large-Scale Assessment Assessment Systems

    California, Here We Come!

    The Center Welcomes the Return of In-Person AERA and NCME Conferences

    After two years of virtual conferences, meetings, and just about everything else, Center professionals are excited to gather in San Diego from April 21-25 for the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council of Measurement in Education (NCME). 

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    Accountability ESSA Complex Communication

    What's in a Name? Sometimes, Quite a Bit

    Considering the Effects of COVID-19 Disruptions on Identifying Schools for Supports Under ESSA

    Following a two-year hiatus, states must restart their school accountability systems required under ESSA and identify schools for supports. In addition to well-documented technical concerns, states must also consider how they report accountability results, the labels they use to communicate quality to the public, and the words they use to describe performance. Do the names and labels so carefully crafted when the accountability system was developed pre-pandemic have the same meaning in spring 2022? I explore these ideas in this blog post. 

    What’s in a Name? 

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    Problem Solving Learning Acceleration Educational Improvement Educational Assessment Assessment Systems Education Policy

    Addressing the Problem with Problems

    Part 2: How Can Education Agencies Construct Clear and Well-Defined Problem Statements?

    In Part 1 we addressed the problem with trying to rush forward with silver bullet solutions that gloss over clear and well-defined problem statements. Before getting to solutions, it is critical to first understand how to construct clear and well-defined problem statements. The time invested in defining the problem will pay substantial dividends in the quality of the solution and the efficiency in implementing it.

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    Problem Solving Learning Acceleration Educational Improvement Educational Assessment Assessment Systems Education Policy

    Addressing the Problem with Problems

    Part 1: Searching for Solutions to the Challenges of Education Policy and Practice

    As H.L. Mencken stated, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” And education policy and practice is riddled with complex problems that are void of any clear or simple solution. 

    Take the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) as an example. 

    On one hand, as intended, NCLB addressed some very complex and long-standing problems related to ensuring that all students had the opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education. 

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