Student assessment trends: A brief history and a bright future

A psychometric expert looks back on 50 years of testing innovation and highlights emerging technologies and methodologies to show educators what their students have learned

Assessment is a valuable complement to instruction. It tells us who has learned and who hasn’t so educators can determine what’s most likely to help a student grow and succeed … Read More

About the Author:

James McBride, Ph.D., is vice president and chief psychometrician at Renaissance. He has been instrumental in the practical application of item response theory and has conducted test development and personnel research for a variety of organizations. He has led the development of several breakthrough CAT tests, including the first commercial applications of the technology. He is co-editor of a leading book on the development of CAT and has authored numerous journal articles, professional papers, book chapters, and technical reports. He can be reached via email at James.McBride@renaissance.com.

Assessment in 2020: How data will mitigate COVID-related learning losses

Assessment is critical to providing targeted instruction in any year, but this fall, understanding where learning gaps exist will be essential for schools looking to make up lost ground

In normal times, a discussion about the future of assessment might look five years ahead to talk about the prospects of more authentic computer-aided assessments or potential developments in continuous … Read More

About the Authors:

Dr. Katie McClarty (@KatieMcClarty) is the vice president of research and design at Renaissance. With a PhD in social and personality psychology, Dr. McClarty previously held roles as the chief assessment officer at Questar Assessment and director of the Center for College & Career Success in Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network. She can be reached at katie.mcclarty@renaissance.com.

Dr. Gene Kerns (@GeneKerns) is the chief academic officer at Renaissance. He is a third-generation educator and has served as a public-school teacher, adjunct faculty member, professional development trainer, district supervisor of academic services, and academic advisor at one of the nation’s top edtech companies. He has trained and consulted internationally and is the co-author of three books. He can be reached at gene.kerns@renaissance.com.

How districts can use data now to plan for the fall

Start the year strong by leveraging existing and new metrics to identify performance gaps and increase performance

As schools rushed to move face-to-face classes online, the unique challenges faced by students attempting to learn remotely came to the surface. The enormous loss of instructional time caused by … Read More

About the Authors:

Janelle Cach and Rielle Grant are Partnerships Leads at Schoolzilla.

Try these great digital strategies for assessment

Assessing students over time using digital tools also helps save teachers' time

Educators can make their instruction more effective and provide practice linked directly to progress monitoring and formative assessment results using a number of free digital tools. Teachers can also take … Read More

About the Author:

Robert Low has worked in educational publishing for more than 30 years. His experience ranges from editing and product management to online advertising and content development. He also works with edWeb.net to write articles on their professional learning edWebinars.

Modernizing student evaluation in 3 steps

This district used a framework to gather teacher data on modernizing student evaluation and assessment

The Algoma District School Board (ADSB), located in Ontario, Canada, serves a diverse group of 9,400 students across 39 elementary and 10 secondary schools. Through our strategic priorities of achievement, … Read More

About the Author:

Marty Stilin is the K-12 Technology and Data Coordinator at the Algoma District School Board.

3 steps to help students’ learning after the pandemic

We were all immersed in the moment, navigating our way through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Now we must turn our attention to how we return children to school and how we … Read More

About the Author:

Michael Gaskell, Ed.D., is a veteran middle school principal, mentor to new principals and author of 16 articles since 2018. With a book coming out in September on effective educator practices, he aspires to bring practical solutions to educators and families everywhere, in the best interest of students, especially the disadvantaged.

4 best practices for remote testing as schools reopen

Remote testing may be necessary—but proceed with caution, experts advise

As America’s schools reopen this fall, most are returning at least partially–if not fully–virtual. While policymakers, health experts, parents, and educators continue to debate the right course of action, one … Read More

About the Author:

In his capacity as Executive Vice-President for Assessment and Professional Learning for the District Division at NWEA, Fred McDaniel leads the Content Solutions, Psychometrics, Professional Learning and School Improvement teams. Fred has worked in the education and educational assessment arena for many years, beginning his career in Virginia as a boarding school counselor for students with emotional and learning needs. He also worked as a teaching parent in residential facilities in rural North Carolina for children and adolescents in trouble with the law. It was during this time that he became interested in educational assessment and research while trying to advocate for the students he served. Fred has managed accountability and assessment systems as well as served as the chief planning officer for a large public school system in South Carolina. Fred has a B.A in Psychology from the University of Montana, an M.Ed. in Educational Research and Measurement as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research from the University of South Carolina. Fred has previously served as the director of test development, vice president of operations, and senior-vice president for product management for NWEA.

10 ways assessment reform can help guide a new era in education

States are challenged to find assessments that present an accurate picture of student learning in order to direct resources to those who need them most

The spread of the coronavirus transformed our education system overnight. With school districts completely caught off-guard by the speed and severity of the outbreak, the U.S. Department of Education announced … Read More

About the Author:

Dr. Aaliyah Samuel has experience in policy development and implementation at the local, state, and national level. With expertise from early childhood through higher education, Aaliyah leads a team driving an ambitious state and federal education agenda focused on systems-level change. Prior to NWEA, Aaliyah was the Director of Education at the National Governors Association. In this role, she informed state policy agendas, assisted with developing cross systems approaches to create policy solutions to support children and families, and drove strategic planning efforts. Aaliyah holds an undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University, a master’s from University of South Florida, and specialist and EdD degrees from Nova Southeastern University. In 2019, she was appointed as a Fellow to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

5 truths for building a successful data culture

School districts that best exemplify excellent data use share a few key common traits

Whichever assessment practice model you use—be it Response to Intervention (RTI), multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), or any other—building a positive culture of assessment is the key to success for both students and teachers.

About the Author:

Trenton Goble | VP of K12 Learning
Trenton left his position as an elementary school principal in January 2012 to become MasteryConnect’s Chief Academic Officer and Co-Founder. He now serves as VP of K-12 learning at Instructure. During Trenton’s 19-year career as an educator, he taught various grade levels, served as an Assistant Principal, and spent 11 years working as an Elementary School Principal. Trenton holds an M.Ed in Instructional Technology from Utah State University, and he designed the Mastery Leadership Institute to support school and district leaders in implementing successful data strategies and cultures.

How districts can use data now to plan for the fall

Start the year strong by leveraging existing and new metrics to identify performance gaps and increase performance

As schools rushed to move face-to-face classes online, the unique challenges faced by students attempting to learn remotely came to the surface. The enormous loss of instructional time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to widen performance gaps in public education.

About the Authors:

Janelle Cach and Rielle Grant are Partnerships Leads at Schoolzilla.

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