With a focus on college and career readiness (CCR), many states have implemented new standards for instruction and annual accountability assessments. Districts now must reconsider their assessments to make sure their beginning-of-year, mid-year, or end-of-year measures are consistent with the state’s expectations of higher-order critical thinking skills.
We recently attended the 2017 California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) conference in Sacramento. Conversations with teachers underscored the continuing need for classroom and district science resources to support the transition to NGSS*.
From classroom teachers to state policy makers, many educators are focused on creating and implementing meaningful assessments. Teachers and district leaders need items that support solid formative assessment practices. They want to use the evidence gathered from these items to inform decisions about instructional strategies, student groupings, and learning targets for individual students and groups. State policy makers and psychometricians focus more on long-range plans such as those to meet ESSA requirements. Suffice it to say, assessment is on educators’ minds.
“Why do assessment?” That’s the question we ask ourselves regularly, on behalf of our customers and clients. It helps us stay true to our mission—to improve teaching and learning—and to make sure we’re delivering valuable solutions to the students, teachers, and administrators who assess students every day.
Stringent security policies have been in place over many years for statewide accountability measures and other high-stakes tests. But at Measured Progress, we’ve begun to think that best practices for test security should also apply to districtwide assessments, such as district interim assessments, benchmarks, and others.
Late in 2016, district leaders for the Boston Public Schools (BPS) identified a challenge for their system: It was difficult to assess student learning consistently and accurately for their 125 schools, because curriculum and pacing for each grade varied across schools.
Educators inherently understand the importance of a balanced assessment system—and ESSA emphasizes that need. But what does a balanced assessment system look like? As an assessment company with an active mission to improve student learning with meaningful assessment, we spend a lot of time thinking about things like this.
Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you’ve probably heard or read about the total solar eclipse of the sun by the moon on Monday, August 21st here in the United States. This planetary phenomenon has not been experienced here since 1979. These few minutes, where the moon perfectly aligns with the sun and blocks out light in the middle of the day, are a big deal for science. And science is a big deal for us here at Measured Progress.