The past year saw LOTS of discussion about different types of assessment and their most suitable uses. In fact, we’ve heard from many districts that recent conversations have led to frank evaluations of what assessments they need, and in some cases, what assessments they no longer need.
From classroom teachers to state policy makers, many educators are focused on creating and implementing meaningful assessments. Teachers and district leaders need items that support solid formative assessment practices. They want to use the evidence gathered from these items to inform decisions about instructional strategies, student groupings, and learning targets for individual students and groups. State policy makers and psychometricians focus more on long-range plans such as those to meet ESSA requirements. Suffice it to say, assessment is on educators’ minds.
We recently posted a piece on our Opinions page that outlines the current expectations of statewide tests, and presents a solution that includes teacher-administered measures without adding additional testing time or burden on teachers. We provide a brief summary below. Read the full article.
The harsh reality is that behind the school choice movement is some people’s belief that public schools just aren’t doing a good job of educating children. This belief is bolstered by U.S. students’ disappointing performance on international tests and data showing that an increasing number of entering college freshmen need remedial course work. Despite alternative explanations of this evidence, the negative views of our public schools feed a more general movement toward privatization by the powers that be.
“Why do assessment?” That’s the question we ask ourselves regularly, on behalf of our customers and clients. It helps us stay true to our mission—to improve teaching and learning—and to make sure we’re delivering valuable solutions to the students, teachers, and administrators who assess students every day.
Late in 2016, district leaders for the Boston Public Schools (BPS) identified a challenge for their system: It was difficult to assess student learning consistently and accurately for their 125 schools, because curriculum and pacing for each grade varied across schools.
Educators inherently understand the importance of a balanced assessment system—and ESSA emphasizes that need. But what does a balanced assessment system look like? As an assessment company with an active mission to improve student learning with meaningful assessment, we spend a lot of time thinking about things like this.
Dr. Steve Ferrara is a Senior Advisor for Measurement Solutions at Measured Progress. The Measured Progress Press Room team sat down with Steve to discuss the standard-setting process he led during the week of August 21, 2017, for eMPower AssessmentsTM.