At the 2017 California Educational Research Association's (CERA) annual conference, CSAI Director Deb Sigman and Assistant Director Bryan Hemberg presented a session called Designing a Comprehensive Assessment System. Co-presenting were Marie Mancuso, Associate Director of the West Comprehensive Center, and Corey Greenlaw, Director of Assessments with the Frenso County Superintendent of Schools. (Please access the presentation slides by clicking the Download Resource button to the right.)
Summary of the session: An assessment system must provide decision-makers at all levels with sound information on which they can base their decisions in support of learning for all students. A comprehensive system includes different types of assessment tools and processes, used for different purposes at different levels of the system: national, state, district, school, and classroom. Designing, developing and implementing such a system is challenging, but necessary when instructional time is at a premium and evidence-based decisions are critical.
During the session, Sigman and Mancuso discussed the attributes of a comprehensive assessment system and outlined practical steps that policymakers and stakeholders might consider in developing a comprehensive assessment system (see handout).
Hemberg demonstrated an assessment visualization tool, called the CSAI Assessment System Visualizer (linked here). This tool provides states, local educational agencies, and schools with the opportunity to visualize, with graphic displays, their assessment systems by grade, content, and a variety of filters. When changes to the assessment system are being considered, this tool can serve as a valuable resource for determining redundancies and gaps in information.