Ten Principles of Building High-Quality Systems of Assessment

How do state and district leaders cut through the clutter to make decisions on assessments for student success? Finally, there is unprecedented support on how to answer this question with the release of Ten Principles for Building a High-Quality System of Assessments, a collaborative effort led by Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit Read more about Ten Principles of Building High-Quality Systems of Assessment[…]

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February Issue Brief: Performance Assessment

Educators seeking to measure student attainment of 21st century skills and deeper learning are increasingly looking to performance assessment as a way to assess student performance meaningfully. ESSA’s innovative testing pilot and new test-optional college admissions policies are removing roadblocks that once stood in the way of widescale adoption of performance assessment. In this month’s Read more about February Issue Brief: Performance Assessment[…]

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The Promise of Performance Assessments

As states, districts, and schools are expanding instruction to include the competencies associated with college, career, and civic readiness, they are also developing ways to measure mastery of these deeper learning and higher-order thinking skills. These measures include performance assessments, such as portfolios, capstone projects, and senior defenses, alongside classroom performance. Meanwhile, more than 900 Read more about The Promise of Performance Assessments[…]

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Innovative Assessment in New Hampshire

For those wondering what ESSA’s Innovative Testing Pilot might bring, look no further than New Hampshire. The Obama administration granted New Hampshire a first-of-its-kind waiver in 2015, allowing a subset of school districts to try out new exams made up of “complex, multi-part tasks that ask students to apply what they have learned in sophisticated Read more about Innovative Assessment in New Hampshire[…]

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10 Evidence-Based Policies and Practices for Assessment

The Meadows Center at the University of Texas at Austin has released a piece outlining 10 evidence-based policies and practices for high-quality assessment in schools, along with the research supporting them. These policies/practices include the following: School leadership ensures that teachers have a shared understanding of the curriculum and standards across the grades. Schools use Read more about 10 Evidence-Based Policies and Practices for Assessment[…]

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School Districts where Students Learn Most

New data from researchers at Stanford, based on some 300 million elementary-school test scores across more than 11,000 school districts, reveals the school districts where children are showing the most growth. The results do not follow conventional wisdom. Districts with high growth are scattered across the country, in contrast with sharp geographic divisions on proficiency Read more about School Districts where Students Learn Most[…]

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The ‘A’ Word: Accountability – The Dirty Word of Today’s Education Reform

Throughout this year, the Bush Institute has interviewed education leaders at length about what school accountability means to them. The result is the launch of The “A” Word: Accountability–The Dirty Word of Education Reform. Throughout this interview series, recognized leaders identify why accountability practices matter and how they have used them. They also provide an Read more about The ‘A’ Word: Accountability – The Dirty Word of Today’s Education Reform[…]

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Performance Assessment: Fostering the Learning of Teachers and Students (update)

Against a backdrop of the opportunities provided by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the challenges for education posed by the new federal administration, the Annenberg Institute for School Report has released an issue of Voices in Urban Education (VUE) and an online supplement that proposes performance assessment as a personalized and rigorous alternative Read more about Performance Assessment: Fostering the Learning of Teachers and Students (update)[…]

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90% of Parents Think Their Kids Are on Track in Math & Reading

There is a communication gap that creates a significant disconnect in how parents think their children are doing in school versus reality. In its second national survey, Learning Heroes found that 9 in 10 parents think their children are performing at or above grade level in math and reading — but results from the National Read more about 90% of Parents Think Their Kids Are on Track in Math & Reading[…]

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Performance Assessment: Fostering the Learning of Teachers and Students

The Annenberg Institute’s new issue of VUE, Performance Assessment: Fostering the Learning of Teachers and Students proposes an alternative to standardized testing, based on a performance assessment approach, which is personalized and rigorous, and improves teaching and learning – thereby benefiting both students and teachers. Against a backdrop of the opportunities provided by the Every Read more about Performance Assessment: Fostering the Learning of Teachers and Students[…]

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Supporting High-Quality State Assessments

Tests are one important tool state and education leaders, teachers and parents rely on to help schools ensure students are on track for learning what they need for success. Tests signal the knowledge and skills that are deemed most important, show how schools and students are progressing, and help identify where to direct resources so Read more about Supporting High-Quality State Assessments[…]

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Early Results in California’s CORE Districts

As states and districts work to develop new accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act, six California districts who received federal waivers under the Obama administration are getting the first hints of how more holistic accountability systems might work. Researchers and district officials discussed the first evaluations of the California Office to Reform Education, Read more about Early Results in California’s CORE Districts[…]

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How State Assessments Can Foster 21st Century Learning

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) opens up new possibilities for more meaningful approaches to assessing student learning and teacher and school success. The law broadens the concept of student learning, requiring that assessments measure “higher order thinking skills and understanding,” and explicitly allowing the use of multiple assessments – including “portfolios, projects, or extended-performance Read more about How State Assessments Can Foster 21st Century Learning[…]

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Five Key Trends in U.S. Student Performance

In 15 years of increasing average test scores, black-white and Hispanic-white student achievement gaps continue to close, and Asian students are pulling away from whites in both math and reading achievement. For the improving groups, these long-term trends may be a major educational success story. In stark contrast, Hispanic and Asian students who are English Read more about Five Key Trends in U.S. Student Performance[…]

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The Fog of “College Readiness”

Chester E. Finn, Jr., distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, recently reflected on the illusion of college readiness for National Affairs. Excerpts from his piece appear below: Our K-12 education system has a transparency problem, and our higher-education system is complicit. While some American parents have a decent sense Read more about The Fog of “College Readiness”[…]

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PARCC Resources for 2017 Assessment Preparation

With the spring 2017 PARCC administration season set to begin in March, the consortium has made a wealth of resources available to help parents, teachers, and students all prepare for this year’s testing. Over the past two years, more than 1,300 authentic released items from PARCC assessments have been published on the Partnership Resource Center Read more about PARCC Resources for 2017 Assessment Preparation[…]

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