Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Education announced the next step in President Obama’s Testing Action Plan — an $8.6 million grant competition for states “to innovate and improve the quality of assessments, enhance reporting for parents, educators and other stakeholders, and reduce redundant and ineffective tests in the state and their districts.”
We at NWEA applaud the Administration for its commitment to assist states in designing more thoughtful approaches to assessment. States and districts now have the opportunity to develop multiple measure assessment systems that better inform instruction and support student growth—and to do so without overburdening students and teachers with testing that does not contribute value to the learning process. Our hope is this grant competition will spur innovative practices in the field and create systems that can act as models for states and districts in the future.
The core of any coherent multiple measure system will be assessments that are built on sound science and provide valid, reliable, and precise data on student learning. It’s equally important that assessments are designed to provide teachers with actionable results in a timely manner so that they can be a resource to address each student’s individual educational needs.
As a leader in developing assessments that focus on student success and informing classroom instruction, NWEA looks forward to partnering with states and districts in designing and implementing state-of-the-art assessment solutions that will help to transform learning for every student.