Lessons Learned From Managing a Successful Multi-State Assessment Consortium The Wida Experience

Friday, June 21, 2013: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Chesapeake D-E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
Presentations
  • CCSSO Lessons Learned.ppt (9.4 MB)
  • Content Strands:
    1. Transitioning assessment systems
    2. Transitioning special populations
    ABSTRACT:
    An important issue facing each multi-state assessment consortium is moving from development, to implementation, and then to maintenance. This transitional process will be needed by each group to become an on-going operational entity. There are a number of issues and challenges inherent in sustaining these efforts that promise to bring higher-quality student assessments to states and their districts, perhaps at equal or lesser cost.  This session will describe how a multi-state consortium has successfully managed transition from development, to implementation to on-going operation over the past 11 years. There are lessons from this work for all of the consortia. 

    There are a number of issues and challenges inherent in sustaining these efforts that promise to bring higher-quality student assessments to states and their districts, perhaps at equal or lesser cost.  These issues include:

    • Design of the assessments in a manner supported by all of the consortium members
    • Determining consortium manager(s) and contractor(s)
    • Staffing at the consortium manager(s) and contractor(s) for the assessment program
    • Determining assessment administration procedures
    • Determining assessment reporting processes and materials
    • Redevelopment and refinement of the assessments on an on-going basis
    • Governance of the consortium
    • Operational procedures for the consortium

    This session will describe how a multi-state consortium has successfully managed this transition. The session will describe:

    • How the consortium designed its initial assessment measures – who was involved, how states helped make decisions, and what processes were used
    • What additional resources e.g., assessment and professional development resources) were developed initially
    • What operational decisions were made by consortium members (including how these decisions were made)
    • How the assessments were implemented through a consortium project manager and contractors  
    • Operational procedures used by the consortium to grow from 3 to almost 30 members over the past 11 years.
    • How quality of the assessments has been maintained over the past decade.
    • The nature and types of changes that occurred and how these changes were decided upon by the consortium members
    • Changes anticipated for the near future (e.g., the transition from a paper-based to online assessment) using a federal grant, and how these new assessments are being designed and developed.

    The goal of this session is not simply to report on the success of the consortium, but to draw “lessons learned” for others who will need to travel the same paths as this consortium. There were bumps along the road, ones that newer consortia can avoid if they learn from this consortium’s lessons.

    Perspectives from long-time staff members, states participating in the consortium, and others with experience in forming and operating successful state consortia will be shared. Each will not only describe how this consortium became successful but also point out how other such multi-state assessment efforts can gain from their perspective. In the end, each of the consortia is served the same clients – state education agencies and their districts, schools, educators and students. Working successfully will help ease the assessment burdens on states, help to assure more useful assessments and assessment results, at lower cost and burden.

    Discussant: