All things assessment: Changes, perspectives, and ESSA
Since most states participate in assessments during April, May, and June, it provides us with the opportunity to take a closer look at assessment practices, at both the school and state level. There’s no way around it, there’s a real need to measure learning, and determine what is and isn’t working. They have many benefits, from providing vital information on students, and offering a check on how schools are doing, to providing consistent data across districts and states, and equipping teachers so that they can make decisions on how to best improve student learning. However, the challenge exists to keep the balance between gathering the needed data, but not overwhelming students with too many.
In response to the national conversation about the amount of assessments given to K-12 students, the Every Student Succeeds Act passed earlier this year gives states more freedom to re-examine them and chart a course forward. Needless to say, more changes are ahead within the assessment system. Below is a compilation of blog posts we recently published that examine the various aspects of assessments, the new legislation, how to implement assessments across an entire district, and perspectives from our research scientists about new types of assessments.
- The Every Student Succeeds Act: Balancing Assessment’s Burdens and Benefits
Dr. Kimberly O’Malley describes the new Every Student Succeeds Act, which offers states many options to improve assessments.
- Beyond the Score: A Mom’s Advice for Interpreting Summative Assessments
Researcher and mother Amy Reilly offers tips to parents on how to review information on their children gleaned from assessments.
- The Promise of Learning Progressions for Assessment and Instruction
In this article, the author explains how learning progressions can help educators understand how well students are building cognitive skills.
- Not Present, Not Learning: Tracking Chronic Absenteeism and Other Nonacademic Factors
Dr. Katie McClarty breaks down the relationship between chronic absenteeism and poor performance on assessments.
- More Than a Test Score
Though graduation rates are rising, assessments show that students are less college ready than ever before. The author argues that rather than over-testing in reading and math, schools need to find and focus on student strengths in areas such as perseverance and ownership of learning.
- So You Want To Build An Assessment System? (Part 1)
One K-12 district tries to understand its current assessment system and the need for a unified comprehensive one.
- So You Want To Build An Assessment System? (Part 2)
In part two of this three part series, Scott Piotrowski examines how a school district evaluated its existing assessment system.
- So You Want To Build An Assessment System? (Part 3)
One northwest K-12 district implements the final steps of its new balanced assessment system with better than expected results.
- Current State of Game-based Assessment
Kristin DiCerbo explains how games can provide assessment without tests.
- A Challenge: Hidden Assessments
Rob Kadel explains that assessments are a way of gauging student’s strengths AND weaknesses.