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.