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Dr. Stuart Kahl

Dr. Stuart Kahl
As founder of Measured Progress, Dr. Stuart Kahl contributes regularly to the thought leadership of the assessment community. In recent years, his particular interests have included formative assessment, curriculum-embedded performance assessment, and new models for accountability assessment programs. The Association of Test Publishers (ATP) awarded Dr.Kahl the 2010 ATP Award for Professional Contributions and Service to Testing. He regularly publishes research papers and commentaries introducing and analyzing current issues and trends in education, and as a frequent speaker at industry conferences, Dr. Kahl also serves as a technical consultant to various education agencies.

Recent Posts

Who Has Time to Innovate? Part 3 of 5

[fa icon="calendar'] December, 2016 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in Assessment Literacy, Formative Assessment, Accountability, Connecting Teaching and Learning

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How do you find time to improve education and assessment?

The innovation in assessment encouraged by the ESSA passed in late 2015 sounds great, but we hear from educators that time is short at every level—from state personnel who are responsible for accountability assessments to local administrators and teachers who are responsible for most of the testing students experience. “How can we find time to create and evaluate new possibilities,” they ask, “much less devote time to trying new things in our schools?”

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Who Has Time to Innovate? Part 2 of 5

[fa icon="calendar'] November, 2016 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in Assessment Literacy, Formative Assessment, Accountability, Connecting Teaching and Learning

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Innovation in education and assessment sounds good . . . but there’s never enough time.

The ESSA expanded the possibilities for assessment, and invited stakeholders to begin to create innovative assessments. However, a question we hear from state and local educators is: How can we find time to create and evaluate new possibilities, much less devote time to trying out new things in schools?

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Who Has Time to Innovate? Part 1 of 5

[fa icon="calendar'] October, 2016 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in Assessment Literacy, Accountability, Connecting Teaching and Learning

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10 sources of concern about time . . . and recommendations to address them

There’s a lot of discussion about innovative assessment practices today, for a variety of reasons, including the flexibility offered by the Every Student Succeeds Act and general dissatisfaction with traditional tests that focus on lower level cognitive skills. States and districts are deeply engaged in finding new assessment options, with growing interest in using performance assessment to gauge students’ higher order thinking skills and create engaging assessment activities with high instructional value.

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Where’s Statewide Testing Going?

[fa icon="calendar'] June, 2016 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in Accountability, Interim Assessments

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The past 15 years have seen a lot of changes in statewide accountability testing. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) increased federal control over state assessment programs and increased stakes associated with test results. The Obama administration’s Race to the Top program further raised the stakes by incentivizing the adoption of common college-readiness standards and assessments and the significant weighing of student test results in teacher evaluations.

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New Possibilities for State Assessment under the ESSA

[fa icon="calendar'] February, 2016 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in Accountability, Interim Assessments, Connecting Teaching and Learning

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The 1061 pages of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) address a wide range of topics that educators and policy makers need to understand. In many ways, the law appears much the same as the previous ESEA reauthorization, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The requirements for common, challenging academic standards and for common assessments in certain grades and subjects remain the same. So do the requirements for standards and assessments for students with disabilities and English language learners. Within those pages, though, are noteworthy changes in the law relating to statewide accountability assessment.

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Don’t Compare Accountability Assessment Programs on “Percent Proficient” Results

[fa icon="calendar'] October, 2015 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in Assessment Literacy, Performance Levels, Accountability

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There’s a lot of confusion among policy makers, educators, and the general public about states’ current options for their K–12 accountability assessment programs. Why? To explain the background and reasons for the confusion, I recently published a paper called “Proficient, Eligible to Graduate, College-Ready? The mystery of achievement-level assessment results.” Here’s a quick summary of that paper.

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Temps as Test Scorers: The Truth of the Matter

[fa icon="calendar'] September, 2015 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in Accountability

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Despite advances in computer-based or automated scoring of student work on academic assessments, there is still a need in large-scale testing programs (e.g., state educational assessments) for humans to score students’ responses to higher-order, constructed-response test questions and performance tasks. And every few years an issue is raised about the qualifications of persons engaged to accomplish this scoring. The testing companies typically hire thousands of temporary staff for this task, most through temp agencies. The job of these seasonal workers is to view images of student responses and assign a score to each.

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Are We Ignoring the Impact of High Stakes Testing Again? Maybe We Can Get it Right in Science.

[fa icon="calendar'] August, 2015 / by Dr. Stuart Kahl posted in NGSS, Accountability

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Research spanning the last three decades has repeatedly shown that the nature of high stakes accountability testing impacts instruction. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, we learned that efficient (predominantly selected-response) external tests served as models for local testing and led to a narrowing of curriculum and instruction—an emphasis on a few school subjects and on low-level knowledge and skills. The authentic assessment era of the ’90s taught us a lot about the dos and don’ts of the less efficient performance assessments. Unfortunately, that era was short-lived as efficiency again became a priority because of the volume of testing and reporting requirements associated with NCLB. Many states significantly reduced or dropped their non-multiple-choice assessment components.

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