Center for Assessment NCME Annual Award

Apr 27, 2022

I’m Scott Marion, Executive Director of the Center, and I’m pleased to be here
with our Board chair, Henry Braun, and Senior Associate, Damian Betebenner.
Our associate director, Chris Domaleski, is very sorry to miss this event, but is
attending a family wedding.

I want to thank Brian Gong and Rich Hill who founded the Center in 1998 with a
strong vision focused on improving assessment and accountability practices to
improve student learning. Rich used to say, “if you have a great idea for how to
improve assessment and you don’t want anyone else to know, don’t tell us, because
we’ll tell everyone!” That mindset evolved into our strong open ethic and
commitment to open source.

Thank you to our amazing Board of Trustees. Over the years, our board has been a
who’s who of NCME, including Dale Carlson, Bob Linn, Suzanne Lane, Ed
Haertel, Laurie Wise, Mark Musick, Peg Goertz, Lorrie Shepard, and many others.
We’re thankful to be led by the 2021 Linquist Award winner, Henry Braun and
renown urban superintendent, Carl Cohn. The current Board includes other key
members of our community—Linda Cook, Gerunda Hughes, and Steve Pruitt.
But mostly, I need to thank our amazing staff, many of whom are here (please raise
your hands)—Brian, Leslie, Erika, Juan, Carla, Chris B. Andre, Will—several
others couldn’t make the trip. We pushed each other hard to write at a furious pace
as soon as the world started shutting down to offer the best assessment guidance
we could under constantly changing conditions.

But we had to do more than write. Led by Damian, Leslie, Nathan, and several
others, we, in collaboration with folks like Derek and Andrew, put forth
frameworks for analyzing test scores in 2021 and then actually did the analysis in
more than a dozen states.

Don’t get me wrong, we like the geeky parts of conceptualizing and carrying out
the analyses, but we did this to support state and district actions to first recognize
the massive impacts of the pandemic on student learning—as presented at
numerous sessions here—and to support actions to help students recover. And
that’s where we are turning now—trying to put forth ideas on how we can best use
assessment information to monitor and support recovery efforts.

Again, we are humbled and grateful to NCME for this award.