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.
It’s safe to say that educators and administrators at all levels support the idea of a balanced assessment system. But what do those words mean? What does such a system look like? We’ve given a lot of thought to this and other aspects of the future of educational assessment.
Effective assessments help you make decisions about future instruction. But how do you ensure that every item in your assessments provides valid and reliable data?
Ah, the elusive balanced assessment system. As educators and administrators, we all talk about it, we all want it, and yet—what does it look like? As you can imagine, here at Measured Progress we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what makes a “good” assessment system, and what the future may look like.
With the search for innovative assessment systems, states and districts are deeply engaged in finding new options. One thing we hear from state and local assessment staff is that time is already short. How can we devote time to thinking strategically and creatively, much less to try things out in schools?
Media reports are full of stories that the new administration intends to “repeal the Common Core,” expand vouchers and charter schools, and slash education funding. Talk about disruption. What does all that mean for large-scale accountability testing? In my view, not very much.