When I came to NWEA in 2018, I had a vision of effecting change across the nation—change in how organizations like ours work in partnership with K–12 district and state leaders to advance student learning, and change in how assessment results are used to drive that learning.
We have been hard at work on those goals, which have become more important than ever as school systems and the communities they serve have experienced the impacts of the pandemic and continue to persist through the ongoing challenges it is creating. Our research has shown that we are at a critical juncture that requires collaboration across not just state and district leadership but also organizations across the K–12 landscape to support educators, students, and families as they navigate historical challenges that have only been exacerbated in these current times.
[W]e will acquire an advanced assessment platform from ETS, a nonprofit we have been collaborating with to provide assessments and associated services to states.
I am excited to share that our organization has taken a big step forward in our efforts to help state leaders as they seek to ensure a high-quality education for all students and use assessment data in support of that goal. We announced today that we will acquire an advanced assessment platform from ETS, a nonprofit we have been collaborating with to provide assessments and associated services to states. We have also invited a group of ETS staff working on the platform to join our State Solutions Division. With this new platform and staff, we will bolster our ongoing efforts to develop and implement new, more student-centered approaches to comprehensive assessment systems in partnership with states.
In addition, we will be expanding our state partnerships as Questar, a subsidiary of ETS, transfers state testing contracts (pending state approval) with Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, and New York to NWEA. The technology and services associated with these contracts will transfer to NWEA as well, and we are committed to ensuring a consistent experience for districts in these states. In fact, we have asked the Questar staff who work on these contracts to join NWEA not only to continue to provide a high-quality and reliable experience, but also because they bring with them expertise in areas such as alternate assessment and accessibility. These are areas that will help us to partner more broadly in service of all kids.
[W]e will be expanding our state partnerships as Questar, a subsidiary of ETS, transfers state testing contracts (pending state approval) with Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, and New York to NWEA.
This agreement with ETS and its subsidiary is important not just because it means we will serve more students and have more technology, capabilities, and talent at NWEA to design statewide systems that help districts foster learning. It also means we will be working closely with even more state leaders who can inform what we do and how we do it. We are dedicated to understanding each state’s challenges—and opportunities—and discovering together how to enhance the connection between districts and states. This is key to our vision for creating change because it is through collaboration that we can increase collective impact on student learning.
Our organization is focused on students and the educators and families who are on the ground making learning happen, but we also recognize that without systemic change, systemic challenges will continue. State leaders are in a position to make policy decisions that can create positive impacts for districts and the students they serve. We are excited to have the opportunity to grow our partnerships at this level so we can engage in systems-level change while we continue to work in tandem with districts to support direct, individualized learning for each and every student. Approaching solutions to the country’s education challenges from both directions is essential to making success in and beyond the K–12 system accessible and achievable for all students. We are privileged to engage in this way with our district and state partners and know that together we can make a big impact on learning and outcomes for all kids.