A Deep Commitment to Help You Improve Learning for All Students

Providing expert technical, policy, and practical guidance to improve educational systems and student learning.

Long-term Partnerships to Support Equity

The Center for Assessment is focused on improving learning for all students, and especially for students from groups that have not had fair access to educational opportunities, such as those from historically disenfranchised racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic populations, as well as students with identified learning challenges. Thus, we work closely with states and school districts to ensure their assessment and accountability systems are as technically-defensible and equitable as possible.

The Center for Assessment is honored to support our state and district partners through long-term relationships, allowing us to develop an intimate understanding of the context and conditions of the full educational system. We can then work with state leaders proactively instead of putting out one fire after another. We still help state and district leaders deal with assessment and accountability emergencies and we are often the “go-to” firm in such cases. However, we are convinced after multiple decades of work that we can best serve our clients – and ultimately their students – through long-term engagements. Taking a long view allows us to better support our partners in creating impactful system improvements and reforms rather than spending all our time reacting to current issues.

The Center for Assessment occupies a unique niche at the intersection of technical expertise, policy sensitivity, and pragmatic understanding. We use this deep understanding to apply our knowledge and skills to each context and project. Center for Assessment professionals are known for their ability to tailor recommendations and solutions to our clients’ values and particular contexts, always with an eye toward the most equitable and technically-defensible approaches possible.

We do not have a “canned model”; rather, Center for Assessment professionals support our more than 50 clients and partners across more than 80 projects in one or more of the following ways:

  • Coordinating and leading technical and other advisory committees,
  • Supporting state and district personnel with regular technical, policy, and practical advice,
  • Facilitating assessment and accountability design initiatives,
  • Undertaking technical analyses and other research efforts,
  • Communicating effectively to a broad audience about a range of assessment and accountability issues, and
  • Hosting conferences and other convenings to disseminate important new understandings.
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What We Offer

High-Quality Technical Advice

Center for Assessment experts collectively lead/coordinate more than 15 state and district technical advisory committees (TACs) and serve on approximately 45 such committees. We have earned a strong reputation for how we structure and facilitate TAC meetings. Our deep expertise and extensive experience allow us to understand which topics will benefit from TAC discussion and advice, as well as how best to organize the discussions so state/district assessment and accountability leaders receive the highest-quality and actionable advice possible.

Supporting Assessment and Accountability Leadership

There is no question that our work with technical and policy advisory committees is a significant benefit to state and district assessment and accountability programs, but these TAC meetings are too infrequent to guide the day-to-day work of state and district personnel. Therefore, Center for Assessment professionals work closely with state and district personnel to support a variety of design, implementation, and evaluation needs. These regular touch points allow us to best target our tools, resources, and processes to each context.

Design and Development

We continue to support many clients with a range of design and development activities. We are expert facilitators and effective leaders of stakeholder groups through equitable design processes leading to technically- and practically-defensible assessment and accountability systems.

Technical Analyses

Center for Assessment professionals are skilled researchers and evaluators. We base our recommendations on empirical evidence, including high-quality data analyses whenever possible. We support state and district partners with expert advice about conducting analyses internally and/or having our professionals conduct sophisticated analyses to share with our clients.

Effective Communication

We are skilled communicators, able to write and speak to a wide variety of audiences. We translate complex topics into the language of practice and policy. Additionally, Center for Assessment professionals regularly publish their work in leading academic journals and present their research at national and international conferences. In addition to technical writing, Center professionals publish a blog series, CenterLine, and other resources to share what we’re learning with as many people as possible.

Conferences and Convenings

Consistent with our open-access ethic, we host an annual conference – The Reidy Interactive Lecture Series – to disseminate what we and colleagues are learning about important problems of practice. Additionally, the Center regularly convenes researchers and practitioners on an ad hoc basis when an emerging issue needs focused attention.