- Balancing new assessment systems within a state
- Improving data analysis, use, and reporting
States, districts and schools are being asked to conceptualize and implement broad, coherent systems of assessment, instruction, curricula and professional development. Such systems have been dubbed comprehensive assessments systems or balanced assessment systems, among other labels. The primary goal of these systems is to increase student achievement. This session examines how states and districts are responding to the demand to conceptualize, award, develop and implement these coordinated and complex systems. This session will also review tools, in the form of dynamic system modeling software, to help design coherent systems that result in increased student achievement.
This session will address the following strand: Balancing new assessment systems within a state (e.g., formative/interim/summative or ELPA/AA-AAS/general assessment). State, district and school staff are being asked to think beyond a single test or set of tests to envision a coordinated system that involves assessment, curriculum, instruction and professional development. Furthermore, state, district and school staff are asked to manage and are held accountable for the conceptualization, award, development and implementation of these coordinated systems involving assessment, curriculum, instruction and professional development within the environment of a "new normal" of tight budgets. District and state staff will be asked to create successful multi-component systems that cross department boundaries and engage multiple-vendors using tighter and tighter budgets.
But the intricacies of these multi-component systems threaten to overwhelm the ability of state, district and school staff to understand and successfully plan these systems. A few generic, informal models exist, such as those mentioned earlier, but offer little help in developing specific systems within a particular context. The tools that exist for individual components of a system, such as the methods and indices associated with test development, offer limited insight into system performance.
State, district and school staff need conceptual and formal models and the simulation of system behavior to help in handling the uncertainty, feedbacks, and lags associated with systems of assessment, curriculum, instruction and professional development. The size, complexity, and investment of time and money involved with such systems require a powerful set of tools to help the staff charged with the conceptualization, award, development and implementation of these systems. Educators need tools that can help them conceptualize and manage coordinated systems involving assessment, curriculum, instruction and professional development. This session is intended to help conceptualize the problem, identify important aspects of assessment, curriculum, instruction and professional development, and describe systems thinking as a conceptual tool and dynamic systems models as a statistical tool to help state, district and school staff.