Ready for RILS!

Aug 19, 2018

The Center at 20: Leveraging the Lessons of the Past to Improve the Impact of Assessment and Accountability Practices

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.

This 20th anniversary year of RILS offers us a unique opportunity to take a look back and a look ahead. Our goal for the conference is to leverage the lessons of the past to forge an ambitious agenda for our future and the future of the field. In short we want to make good on the Center’s mission of improving assessment and accountability to enhance equitable learning and life opportunities for all students. 

After a welcome by Executive Director Scott Marion and a brief reflection by senior associate Charlie DePascale on lessons we learned over the last 20 years, RILS 2018 is organized into three sessions.  Thursday, September 27 will feature sessions on Assessment Systems and Accountability Systems.  On Friday, September 28 we will discuss the critical issue of the Validation of those systems. 

We take the ‘interactive’ part of RILS seriously.  Everyone attending the conference is considered a participant in the sessions. RILS 2018 is designed to get the most out of collaboration among participants. Across the three sessions there will be a mix of plenary presentations, concurrent sessions, invited panels, and large- and small-group discussions.  Interaction, however, is not limited to formal presentations and discussions.  Breakfast, lunch, and breaks each day and an early evening reception on Thursday provide additional opportunities for more informal interaction among participants.

Throughout the summer, we have featured blog posts by members of the Center team organizing each of the three RILS sessions:

Assessment Systems:  Nathan Dadey, Carla Evans, Scott Marion, Joseph Martineau, and Jeri Thompson
Accountability Systems: Damian Betebenner, Chris Domaleski, and Susan Lyons
Validation : Juan D’Brot, Brian Gong, Leslie Keng, and Erika Landl

One of the main lessons learned over the last 20 years is that with regard to RILS or improving educational assessment and accountability, we cannot do this alone. We are excited to be joined at the RILS by distinguished guests who will serve as discussants and panelists throughout the conference. All leaders and innovators in the field, we have been fortunate to have them join us at RILS.

  • Elliott Asp, Senior Partner, Colorado Education Initiative
  • Jeffrey Broom, Director of School Quality Measurement and Research, Chicago Public Schools
  • Rae Clement, Principal Consultant, Illinois Board of Education
  • Robert Curtin, Associate Commissioner Data & AccountabilityMassachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 
  • Paul Freeman, Superintendent of Schools, Guilford, CT
  • Peg Goertz, Professor emeritus University of Pennsylvania and co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE)
  • Peter McWalters, Former Commissioner of Education, Rhode Island Department of Education
  • Andy Middlestead, State Director of Assessment, Michigan Department of Education
  • Jack Schneider, Assistant Professor, UMass Lowell and Research Director, Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment
  • Lorrie Shepard, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Janet Wilson, Associate Superintendent, Office of Shared Accountability, Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Lauress Wise, Senior Researcher, Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO)
  • Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi Department of Education