CSAI Presentations at NCSA 2018

At the Council of Chief State School Officer's (CCSSO) 2018 National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA), CSAI Senior Advisor Deborah Sigman, Assistant Director Bryan Hemberg, and Content Experts Joanne Jensen, Kevin King, and Cinda Parton presented on topics related to assessment and accountability policy. Their presentations are found below. For more information on NCSA, please visit their website.

Designing a Comprehensive Assessment System
Presenters: Deb Sigman, Corey Greenlaw, and Bryan Hemberg

Summary: The design and implementation of a comprehensive assessment system is an ongoing process and requires a commitment by practitioners and policy makers to develop a shared understanding of what each assessment's purpose and use should be. This presentation describes the attributes and benefits of designing a comprehensive system and highlights a tool developed to help states and districts systematically develop and implement a comprehensive and balanced assessment system. The Assessment System Visualizer (ASV) is an online, interactive tool intended to build the capacity of individuals seeking to analyze the components of their assessment systems and make decisions about how to improve them. The ASV lets you privately input data you collect about the assessments administered in your state, district, school, or classroom, and then immediately creates data visualizations around key variables and/or questions, to illuminate patterns in how balanced, comprehensive, or broadly/narrowly focused the assessment system is.

Emerging NGSS Large Scale Assessment Challenges
Presenters: April McCrae, Katie Bowler, TJ Smolek, and Kevin King

Summary: NGSS large scale assessment presents alignment challenges that continue to emerge and evolve as states work to develop items and item sets that reflect content review expectations within the constraints of large scale assessments. States have had to think deeply and creatively about how to categorize and articulate expectations about alignment to different aspects of the NGSS. Questions that have emerged include: Do existing alignment protocols work? Can we measure with fidelity student understanding and ability in certain aspects of the NGSS? What are the measurement limitations of certain dimensions/aspects of the NGSS? These aspects include science and engineering practices (SEPs), crosscutting concepts (CCCs), disentangling-or not- dimensions, and cognitive complexity. In this symposium, several states at the forefront of NGSS assessment development share their current thinking and implemented development strategies to address these and other emerging alignment challenges for NGSS large scale assessments.

NGSS Regular and Alternate Assessments: Achieving a Cohesive Model
Presenters: Dawn Cope, Toni Wheeler, and Kevin King

Summary: Washington state operationalized its first administration of both the NGSS alternate assessment and NGSS regular assessment in the same year (school year 2017-18). Washington state is committed to addressing the NGSS three dimensional measurement challenge in both its regular and alternate assessments. To achieve this, Washington state sought to develop regular education and alternate NGSS assessments in very close coordination. This coordination has included making sure that the development efforts are informed by each other and that the achievement level descriptor process was designed to be articulated for both assessments. The result is an assessment system that reflects a common commitment to the three-dimensional nature of the NGSS and the powerful impacts the standards and assessments have on instruction for all students. This symposium presents how Washington worked to construct an articulated system of regular and alternate assessments from design to achievement level descriptors.

NGSS Claim and Subclaim Models
Presenters: Kevin King, Dawn Cope, Jan Sibley, April McCrae, and Cinda Parton

Summary: The NGSS have created a common platform for states to make diverse decisions related to claims and subclaims for their large-scale assessment programs. While there is relatively consistent focus for the overall claim descriptions, emphasizing scientific literacy of students to apply science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to explain phenomena and design solutions to problems in the natural and the designed world, states have varied approaches for subclaims. The key decision influences are instructional emphases and test design constraints. At least three models for subclaims have emerged: 1) Overall Claim, and Disciplinary Core Idea Domain focused subclaims, 2) Overall Claim and subclaims based on groupings of SEPs and CCCs, and 3) Overall Claim only. Presenters from three states--that have each made principled-based, but different, decisions--explain their models, the decision making process to determine their model, and test design implications for the models.

Preparing for Grade 3: Tennessee's Innovative Assessment for Grade 2
Presenters: Virginia Mayfield, Sandy S. Qualls, Jennifer Dunn, and Joanne Jensen

Summary: While federal accountability begins with assessments administered at grade 3, children are falling below the achievement expectations necessary for them to be on track as they enter third grade. In recognition of this outcome, Tennessee has implemented a voluntary assessment for English/language arts and mathematics at grade 2. Whereas the assessment includes the "traditional" reading and mathematics items typically seen on a statewide test, these assessments also include measures of reading fluency, listening skills, and integrated mathematical problem solving. This presentation includes a discussion of the development, scoring, and correlation analyses performed on the assessments; the use of results to evaluate trends in student performance at the elementary level and identify areas for professional development and instructional intervention; and the role of the grade 2 assessment within Tennessee's overall assessment and accountability program including their value-added teacher evaluation model.