All things assessment: Changes, perspectives, and ESSA

Elementary school students taking a written exam

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.