NWEA Expands its Support of Schools with Services and Expertise to Address Inequities in the Classroom and Impact Positive Change

Focusing efforts beyond just quality data toward professional learning and school improvement services.

Portland, Ore., August 31, 2021 — Following the most challenging year in education in recent history, we have seen a devastating impact on most students across the country with the biggest impact on students of color and those in high poverty schools. As we begin the 2021-22 school year, it is critical that the education community come together to determine how to best mitigate the impact of COVID and address inequities; and that our leaders prioritize investments in our schools so that our students are equipped with the support and resources they need to succeed.

To help lead this effort, NWEA — a not-for-profit, research and educational services provider serving K-12 students —  announced today a strategic expansion of its services and solutions that will increase its ability to positively impact schools on a systems level by offering a more comprehensive range of services beyond its core assessment solutions, research and policy and advocacy efforts, to include a more robust focus on professional learning and school improvement support.

  • Professional Learning — NWEA has extended its investment in professional learning solutions that provide educators the knowledge and skills they need to rapidly understand student learning needs and provide differentiated, responsive instruction across grade levels. Our educational experts promote understanding of effective instructional strategies that help teachers respond to diverse learning needs, prioritize essential content, and empower students to own and support their own learning. This includes:
    • Strategies for building classrooms that engage and ignite student learning, including student goal setting, empowered assessment, and other high-impact instructional practices.
    • Content-focused modules that support ambitious, differentiated, and equitable instruction in mathematics and literacy. In mathematics, learning modules highlight and amplify equitable and high-quality instruction centered on formative instructional practices that stress ambitious and equitable instructional practices that show all students are capable of learning.
    • Teaching and assessment practices grounded in equity that challenge educators’ preconceived notions and assert the rights of all students to experience success in the classroom.
  • School Improvement Services — NWEA will help impact systemic change by partnering with educational communities to support and develop school leaders to be stewards of sustainable, meaningful, and equity-focused school improvement. It’s going to take strong leadership to steer the path ahead. To this end, NWEA has partnered with UChicago Impact, whose 5Essentials Framework, developed out of research by the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research, offers a holistic and strong evidence-based approach to organizing and focusing school improvement strategies. NWEA will work side by side with school and district leaders, supporting and equipping them with the skills they need in order to lead with confidence, compassion, and impact—ultimately driving better school performance.

Embedded across these services and solutions is more than four decades of deep education industry expertise.

“While data is important in setting meaningful goals, informing action, and creating equitable learning opportunities to support positive student growth, we know that assessments alone do not change lives,” said Chris Minnich, CEO, NWEA. “It is a pivotal time for education in our country. Given our deep education expertise, we feel that we are uniquely positioned as an organization to affect impactful positive change in our nation’s schools. We are excited to start diving more deeply into our work with teachers, schools and districts to provide hands-on support and strategic counsel that reinforce school cultures that drive learning. These changes will make the organization an even stronger partner for schools who are looking to innovate and continually improve to support student success.”

About NWEA

NWEA® (formerly known as Northwest Evaluation Association) is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators in more than 146 countries through research, assessment solutions, policy and advocacy services, professional learning and school improvement services that fight for equity, drive classroom impact and push for systemic change in our educational communities. Visit NWEA.org to learn more about how we’re partnering with educators to help all kids learn.

Contact: Simona Beattie, Sr. Manager, Public Relations, simona.beattie@nwea.org or 971.361.9526