Resource Library

The Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) reviews a variety of resources, ranging from guidance documents, research papers, and policy briefs to tools and websites aimed at supporting state and local education agency leadership in making decisions about their standards, assessment programs, and accountability systems. Reviewed resources are added monthly. 

Measuring What Really Matters

In this Kappan article, the authors suggest that current assessment systems are largely "flawed" and that they should be improved through the addition of performance assessments. The article describes a brief history of the failed 1990s performance assessment movement and how many of those problems...

Type: Guidance
Number of views: 26
Date created: 02/29/2016 - 12:28

Understanding Student Learning: The Need for Education Data

This informational resource provides an overview of the types of data that schools often collect as well as the purposes behind data use. The main topics are: What types of data do schools collect?  How do schools use student education data to help individual students?  Who needs education data?...

Type: Guidance
Number of views: 33
Date created: 02/29/2016 - 11:52

Testing Trends: Considerations for Choosing and Using Assessments

As its title suggests, this ECS publication provides an overview of the current state trends in assessment. Among the topics covered are:

Type: Knowledge
Number of views: 38
Date created: 02/29/2016 - 11:52

Considerations for State Leaders in the Design of School Accountability Systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act

The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) differs significantly from its predecessor, known as the No Child Left Behind Act. The new ESSA provides only a narrow timeline for states to adjust their accountability systems. This publication provides initial guidance for this adjustment...

Type: Guidance
Number of views: 122
Date created: 02/29/2016 - 11:46

Re-Balancing Assessment: Placing Formative and Performance Assessment at the Heart of Learning and Accountability

From the overview: "we call for replacing our current, unbalanced formula of summative assessments and external pressure with a new, more balanced formula for assessment and accountability centered around curriculum-embedded performance assessments or CEPAs—classroom-based instructional units that...

Type: Guidance
Number of views: 80
Date created: 02/29/2016 - 11:33

Guide to Evaluating Assessments Using the CCSSO Criteria for High Quality Assessments: Focus on Test Content

Because the results from state assessments are often used for high stakes purposes, it is important that the assessments themselves are of high quality. In this publication, the authors propose a methodology for evaluating state assessments for summative purposes. They describe their methodology...

Number of views: 123
Date created: 02/24/2016 - 17:23

Dear Colleague Letter on the Transition to ESSA - December 18, 2015

This guidance letter provides information on the authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In this letter, the U.S. Department of Education discusses:

Type: Guidance
Number of views: 49
Date created: 02/08/2016 - 16:25

Use of Data at the Local Level: From Accountability to Instructional Improvement

This report builds on a picture provided from previous reports of local practices in implementing data-driven decision making. It presents data from a national district survey as well as from site visits conducted during 2007–08 at 36 schools in 12 districts. Key findings from surveys and site...

Type: Knowledge
Number of views: 64
Date created: 02/01/2016 - 18:55