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

    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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    Assessment Use of Assessment Results NAEP Education Policy

    In Search of Simple Solutions for the NAEP Results

    Simple Explanations and Solutions are Appealing, but Insufficient to Affect the Changes Needed to Move NAEP Results

    The 2019 NAEP results (National Assessment of Educational Progress) were released last week to much consternation, except perhaps in Mississippi and Washington, D.C., where improved results were celebrated.

    Nationally, results were up slightly in fourth-grade math, flat in eighth-grade math, and down in both fourth and eighth-grade reading. These results continue a disturbing lack of progress over the last decade. 

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    Assessment Balanced Assessment Systems Assessment Systems

    Do Interim Assessments Have A Role in Balanced Systems of Assessment?

    Evaluating Interim Assessments Against the Criteria for Balanced Assessment Systems

    Interim assessments may have a role in balanced assessment systems, but that role is not conferred by title. It is conferred by logic and evidence tied to particular purposes and uses. 

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    Innovative Assessment ESSA IADA State Assessment

    The Reality of Innovation in Educational Assessment

    Part 2 – Innovation in Educational Assessment is Messy and May Have a Different Goal Than Stakeholders Would Like

    This post is the follow-up to my previous post discussing the realities of innovation in large-scale educational assessment. In Part 1, I defined innovation as a change that not only improved an existing process or product, but also was found to have solved a problem or meet a need and, therefore, was adopted and used; that is, it changed the way things were done in the field.  

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    Innovative Assessment ESSA IADA State Assessment

    The Reality Faced by Innovators of Educational Assessments

    Part 1 – What Does Innovative Assessment Really Mean, and What Has Recent Assessment Innovation Looked Like?

    The Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ostensibly offers states the flexibility needed to “establish, operate, and evaluate an innovative assessment system” with the goal of using that educational assessment to meet the ESSA academic assessment and statewide accountability system requirements. 

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    Assessment Use of Assessment Results Interim Assessment RILS

    How Do We Improve Interim Assessment?  

    Reflections From the 2019 Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) Conference

    In the seacoast region of New Hampshire, we are enjoying the kind of crisp early autumn temps that might call for a light sweater, and the foliage reveals just a hint of the color that draws ‘leaf peepers’ to the region each year. But it wasn’t just the postcard-perfect scene that drew more than 80 education and assessment leaders from around the country to Portsmouth on September 26-27, 2019. The Center’s annual Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) offered an opportunity for those assembled to learn and contribute ide

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    RILS Interim Assessment Use of Assessment Results Education Policy

    Matching Instructional Uses with Interim Assessment Designs

    The Importance of Ensuring that an Assessment is Designed to Support its Intended Uses

    Assessments are the most powerful and useful when designed intentionally for particular purposes – especially when it comes to interim assessments.  

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    RILS Interim Assessment Use of Assessment Results Education Policy

    The Choice is Yours on Interim Assessment

    Introduction to the Interim Assessment Identification and Evaluation Process Tool

    This week, the Center team gathers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with state and local educators, assessment specialists, industry leaders, and old and new friends for our 21st annual Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS). The topic of RILS this year and the goal for our two days together is to improve the selection, use, and evaluation of interim assessments by helping states and districts make better-informed decisions about the appropriateness and utility of different interim assessments options.

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