At CCSSO's 2016 National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA), CSAI Co-Directors Andy Latham and Deborah Sigman, Associate Director Joan Herman, and Content Advisor Margaret Heritage presented on topics related to assessment and accountability policy. Their presentations are found below. For more information on the NCSA program, please visit their website. The Two Percent Solution: Weighing Value against Burden in Statewide Standardized Assessments Presenters: Andy Latham, Patrick Rooney, and Paul Koehler Handout: Testing Action Plan Summary: In October 2015, President Obama announced an initiative to balance the use of assessments in schools. Done well and thoughtfully, assessments are tools for learning and promoting equity. They provide necessary information for educators, families, the public, and students themselves to measure progress and improve outcomes for all learners. Done poorly, in excess, or without clear purpose, assessments take valuable time away from teaching and learning, draining creative approaches from our classrooms. This session included a discussion of the President's initiative and share existing tools and resources states and districts can use to evaluate their assessments, including key questions to guide your work. In addition, we will provide examples from states that are working to streamline their state and local assessment systems. Coherent Systems of Assessment: The Pathway to Student Success Presenters: Nancy Thomas Price, Angela Landrum, Joan Herman, and Margaret Heritage Summary: From the state level to the district, school, classroom, and student levels, coherent systems of assessment should provide all levels with both critical data on how students are doing and, importantly, actionable information supporting all students’ achievement of College and Career Ready Standards. The Colorado Department of Education, in collaboration with CRESST/UCLA, recently developed a framework and associated professional learning modules to bring this vision to reality. The framework incorporates a full range of assessment types aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards to provide users at each level with the right kinds of data, at the right level of detail, to support decision making. The session shared why and how Colorado is developing teachers' assessment literacy through a vision that links a coherent system of assessment to decisions and actions that benefit student learning and showcase the professional learning modules that are available to all and that support educators’ assessment literacy and use. Smarter Balanced Scores—Guidance for Different Users of Results Presenters: Deb Sigman, Tony Alpert, and Joe Willhoft Summary: The Smarter Balanced scores were reported for the first time this past school year. Practitioners, policymakers, and parents have different uses for the scores and require different supports to use the scores appropriately. These presenters, who have expert knowledge of Smarter Balanced assessments, provided practical guidance and advice on actionable interpretation of Smarter Balanced scores to further the purpose of improving teaching and learning and encourage aligning policy and practice. Topics included Smarter Balanced Vertical Scale Assessment Precision for Individuals and Groups, Connecting Assessment Purpose to Use, Making the Most of the Scores, and Connecting Policy and Practice.
On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. To assist states in the implementation of ESSA, CSAI has created three documents, highlighting key ESSA requirements related to standards, assessment, and accountability, specifically those requirements for which CSAI can provide support to states. An ESSA implementation timeline is also included in each document.
Understanding Proficiency is a new resource designed to support educators in analyzing and learning from student work on performance tasks. The site features actual scored student responses to the Smarter Balanced performance tasks, with annotations from practicing educators and illustrations of the full range of performance levels for each task. Videos and professional development tools are also featured to support teachers in using these resources to improve instructional practice. The purpose of Understanding Proficiency is to leverage the Smarter Balanced performance tasks to support professional development that can help operationalize college- and career-ready standards to inform and enhance instruction for all students.
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This "view from the field" post is part of Homeroom, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education. This post provides examples and links to resources to help states with an engagement strategy that involves all stakeholders in creating a common vision of educational opportunity and accountability.
The goal of the K-12 Computer Science Framework is to describe a foundation for what all students need to know and be able to do in computer science. The ACM, CSTA, Code.org, CIC, and NMSI, along with lead states, districts, writers, and advisors, have joined together to develop conceptual guidelines for states and districts in creating a K-12 pathway in computer science. These organizations welcome all educators to engage in the third and final public review of the K-12 Computer Science Framework. The review period ends June 29, 2016.
Key elements of the new Every Student Succeeds Act are summarized in this Education Week article. A short video unpacks the details of the new law and what it means for schools, educators, and students.