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.

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    Educational Assessment Accountability logic models Assessment

    Is Our Work in Educational Assessment and Accountability Helping to Improve Student Learning and the Student Experience?

    Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Work Through Career-Life Crises and Better Understand What Actions Support Student Outcomes

    As 2019 drew to a close I had the chance to reflect on the conversations I've had with many of my colleagues throughout the year, and one topic of conversation that sticks out to me is frustration about the minimal value-add of work focused on large scale assessment and state-level accountability systems to the student experience. 

    Developing a Better Understanding the Role of Assessment and Accountability in Improving Student Outcomes

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    Teaching to the Test

    High-Quality Assessments Used for the Right Reasons May be a Useful Tool for Teachers to improve Teaching Quality

    In his CenterLine post, Can Educational Assessment Improve Teaching?, Executive Director Scott Marion invited readers to share their thoughts on the complex, but critical issue of identifying ways that assessments can be used to improve teaching quality. In this guest post, we share Kadie Wilson’s response to Scott’s invitation. Kadie Wilson is Assistant Superintendent in New Hampshire School Administrative Unit #9.

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    Travels with Charlie: A Reflection on the Timeless, Valued Work of a Longtime Center for Assessment Colleague

    The end of the decade signified the end of an era here at the Center for Assessment; Charlie DePascale officially retired on December 31, 2019, after more than 17 years as a Senior Associate. 

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    Educational Assessment ESSA Balanced Assessment Systems Assessment

    Reflections on Large-Scale State Assessment in the Twenty-Tens: What Have We Learned and What’s Ahead?

    Looking Back at a Transformative Decade in Educational Assessment

    In considering a decade of large-scale state assessment, I’m reminded of a moment in June 2010. while attending the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA) in Detroit, Michigan, I was part of a crowd gathered in the hotel lounge watching the U.S. Men’s National  Team (USMNT) play a World Cup soccer match against Algeria.  

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    The Best Things Come in Threes: Evaluating the Utility of Educational Accountability Systems

    Focusing on the Link Between Accountability Identification and Improvement Using a Three-Step Approach

    Depending on your slant, you probably have a favorite among the many sayings around the kinds of things that come in threes. Some people focus on the belief that tragedies occur in threes. I prefer to focus on how some of the best things come in threes:

    1. Freud’s id, ego, and superego
    2. The three books in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series
    3. The 90s hit teen pop sensation Hanson 

    Okay, some might argue with the three Hanson brothers – how about The Jimi Hendrix Experience instead? 

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    Educational Assessment teaching quality assessment use Assessment systems

    Can Educational Assessment Improve Teaching?

    What Would it Take to Design an Assessment System Around a Goal of Improving Teachers’ Knowledge and Skills?

    How would I design an assessment or assessment system if my goal was to improve teaching? My colleagues, Chris Domaleski and Leslie Keng, and I met recently with state assessment leaders who are thinking about reforming their assessment system. 

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    technology-enhanced items TEI Assessment computer-based testing Innovative Assessment

    Are Test-Takers Getting the Most from Technology-Enhanced Items?

    Establishing Scoring Rules to Make the Use of TEIs More Efficient and Effective

    Technology-Enhanced Items (TEIs) are a kind of test question or task. A characteristic feature of TEIs is that, in contrast to traditional multiple-choice (MC) items, which require the selection or “bubbling” of a single option, TEIs generally require test-takers to make more than one interaction with the item.

    The most interesting TEIs are simulations with game-like contexts. Picture a virtual laboratory where the goal is to isolate a specific compound, or a simulated garden where the test-taker can conduct an experiment to learn about (or be tested on) a concept in genetics. 

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    Assessment Accountability

    Theories of Action Aren’t Enough: An Argument for Logic Models

    A Practical Application of the Need to Fill the Gap Between a Theory of Action and the Implementation and Evaluation of a New Program or System

    If you've ever worked with someone from the Center, been in a Center staff meeting, or even had dinner with someone from the Center, you know that we refer to Theories of Action incessantly. It may sound wonky and weedy (and it is), but there's a reason why we value it so much. That's because a theory of action (TOA) can help us clarify what we truly believe should happen if a program or system is implemented. 

    Defining a Theory of Action to Help Guide Longer-Term Goals

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    Assessment Innovative Assessment

    How Can Every Educator Achieve Assessment Literacy?

    Thoughts About Scaling Educational Reform Initiatives to Increase Educators’ Assessment Literacy

    I am encouraged that so many educational leaders are wrestling with systematically bringing educational reforms to scale. Unfortunately, as these leaders have come to realize, achieving widespread implementation of meaningful reforms is really hard – especially when pursuing a goal of increasing assessment literacy.

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    Making the Most of the Summative State Assessment

    How We Can Generate Actionable Student-Level Information from the Summative State Assessment While Honoring Their Design

    This post is based on an invited presentation Charlie DePascale made at the nineteenth annual Maryland Assessment Research Center (MARC) conference at the University of Maryland on November 8, 2019.

    “Our teachers are thrilled that the new summative state assessment is so much shorter. Now, what additional student scores can we report from it to help them improve instruction?”

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