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


    A Matter of Indifference

    Current Assessments May Require New Equating Methods and Procedures to Ensure Results will be Comparable Across Test Forms

    One of the fundamental tenets of equating two tests is that it should be a matter of indifference to an examinee as to which of the two tests they take.  

    When two or more students receive the same scale score on their state’s Grade 3 reading test, we want to be able to make the same inferences about their performance, even if they responded to almost entirely different sets of items.

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    Center Updates

    Preparing the Future with 2019 Summer Internships

    Center Staff and Interns Will Address Key Issues in Assessment and Accountability

    While Center staff and 2018 summer interns share their work at the NCME conference, planning is well underway for our 2019 summer internship program.  This summer, the Center will welcome six advanced doctoral students who will work with the Center’s professionals on projects with direct implications for state and national educational policy. Each intern will work with a Center mentor on one major project throughout the summer.

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    Assessment Innovative Assessment

    Conference Season is Upon Us

    Center Associates Prepare for the NCME and AERA Annual Meetings in Toronto

    Warmer days, daffodils in bloom, and birds singing can only mean one thing besides the beginning of spring. It’s also the beginning of another busy conference season–and Center associates are hard at work fine-tuning their presentations.

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    Innovative Assessment Assessment Assessment for Learning Instructioinal Utility Interim Assessment Utility

    Five Essential Features of Assessment for Learning

    A Look at Fulfilling Hopes for Innovative Assessments and Instructional Utility

    It may sound innovative to claim that commercial interim assessments support instruction, but simply saying it doesn’t make it so. 

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    Assessment Standard Setting Use of Assessment Results

    Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...Turn and Face the Strange World of Assessment

    A Framework to Help State Assessment Teams Deal Effectively With Change

    Heraclitus of Ephesus said that “The only thing that is constant is change.”  This observation certainly applies to K-12 assessment programs, as assessment transitions seem to be happening on a more frequent basis and at a more rapid pace in recent years. 

    Consider the following information gathered from a recent informal survey of 21 states by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) about assessment transitions in the past few years:

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    Use of Assessment Results Assessment Assessment Systems

    Considering Interim Assessments and Summative Information

    Providing Flexibility to Schools and Districts while meeting ESSA Assessment Requirements

    Getting the most out of any investment is common sense, and a sensical goal. In terms of school districts and states, these entities often make substantial investments into interim assessments with the aim of supporting classroom instruction and district decision making.

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    Standard Setting performance standards standards validation comparability Assessment

    Re-envisioning Performance Standards Validation

    Taking a Principled Approach to Evaluating Reporting Scales and Performance Standards when Modifications are Made to Assessments

    For a variety of reasons—political, psychometric and practical—states are often required to modify their large-scale summative assessments. These changes may be significant, such as developing new assessments after the adoption of revised academic content standards, or minor, such as adding a couple items to an existing test blueprint. 

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    Baby Steps: Moving Forward on Teacher Evaluation

    Shifting From an Accountability to an Instructional Mindset for Teacher Evaluation

    I was recently invited by Future Focused Education to share my thoughts on teacher evaluation for their blog. I contributed two posts about the insurmountable challenges of state-mandated teacher evaluation and the promise of coherent locally-based support and evaluation systems.

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    Alignment Turns 25 This Year–So Now We Ask, What Are its Prospects?

    The Road from Defining and Measuring Alignment to Effectively Using it in the Design of Assessments and Assessment Systems

    Alignment turns 25 this year. Happy Birthday, Alignment! Alignment burst onto the K-12 assessment landscape with the Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) – the 1994 reauthorization of ESEA. Among other Title 1 requirements, IASA required states to develop “assessments aligned to challenging content and performance standards.”  

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    What’s Next in State Accountability?

    The Lack of Consistency in Accountability Results Across the Country Provokes  This Fundamental Question

    States will soon publish (or have already published) the first results of their federally-mandated accountability systems. 

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