- Higher Education
- K-12 Education
Educators from coast-to-coast will celebrate the nation’s first Digital Learning Day on Wednesday. Amidst the cool technology demonstrations, shiny gadgets, and debates about online learning, it’s essential not to overlook the country’s most expensive — and perhaps most ambitious — initiative to use digital technology.
Just under 18 months ago, the U.S. DepaContinue Reading »
But, if you agree that today’s tests do not assess all that they should and you want to significantly improve assessment systems in this nation, then you almost certainly have to think about how technology can be used to improve assessment.
Will we have the foresight and will to ensure districts and states have the capacity to implement better, more cognitively challenging and valiContinue Reading »
Speech by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, September 2, 2010:
I am convinced that this new generation of state assessments will be an absolute game-changer in public education.
Experts See Hurdles Ahead for Common Core Tests, Education Week, April 12, 2011:
The tests are expected to roll out in 2014, and “the amount of innovation we’ll be able to carry off in that amouContinue Reading »
A few weeks ago, I wrote about research on new computer-based tools to assess student essays. I concluded that, for now, these tools might be best for establishing basic levels of writing proficiency. But, I also noted that the most important value of these tools may not be for high-stakes testing, but to increase writing practice and revision.
Randy Bennett, one of the world’s leaContinue Reading »
With both assessment consortia investigating artificial intelligence to improve student assessment, Inside Higher Ed has a timely story on recent research on the automated assessment of writing. At the recent Fourth International Conference on Writing Research, Educational Testing Service (ETS) presented results from a study showing that its E-Rater service was just as effective as human ratersContinue Reading »
The decisions made by the new assessment consortia over the next few years–and the administration’s oversight of these decisions–will make the difference between a static, centralized system and a dynamic, evolving, and educator-friendly system. Detailed, mostly non-public implementation issues, such as ensuring open platforms and shared infrastructure, are critical. WhileContinue Reading »
While Thursday’s award of $330 million to two state consortia, PARCC and Smarter/Balanced, to design and implement new student assessment systems was not unexpected — there were only two applicants — it’s still an important moment. The consortia’s plans are ambitious and Secretary Duncan is correct that these new assessments have the potential to be an “absolContinue Reading »
Smarter/Balanced and PARCC, the two assessment consortia that I’ve predicted will matter more than Race to the Top, boast 31 and 26 member states, respectively. But given the rules for state membership, we can expect quite a bit of flux in membership over the next few years.
Each consortia has two classes of membership, governing states and advisory (Smarter/Balanced) or participaContinue Reading »
Four years from now it will be clear that while the Race to the Top competition drove important state-level policy changes, the work of the assessment consortia will have made the most direct impact on teaching and learning. Consortia decisions will have also directed hundreds of millions in funding from a variety of other state and federal programs.
After reading the applications froContinue Reading »