WestEd Senior Professional Learning Specialist Barbara Jones is quoted in this EdSource article examining how teachers are assessing their students during distance learning. California teachers are implementing different strategies and tools to gauge their students’ understanding. This includes the application of formative assessment practices to collect evidence of student learning that can be used to make rapid instructional adjustments. In the article, Jones draws on her experiences working with school districts to develop familiarity with formative assessment strategies that support students conducting self-assessments of their own learning and refocusing on student learning.
To support district and school leaders in developing comprehensive and balanced assessment systems, WestEd experts Jessica Arnold and Chelsea Talakoub developed guidance describing how a comprehensive and balanced assessment system requires leaders who can articulate and implement practices that encourage assessment to be used as a tool for improving student learning. The brief provides suggestions for leaders in developing and fostering a school culture that uses assessments and resulting data for learning improvement.
This brief can be found in the CSAA Resource Library.
WestEd researchers Tran Keys and Sylvia Kwon have published a report on the impact of an initiative focused on developing and using performance tasks as part of science learning. The Performance Task Development Project (PTDP) worked with the Los Angeles County Office of Education to provide professional learning opportunities to teachers focused on developing performance tasks that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards. This report explores participant experiences within PTDP and the impact of this professional learning on science instruction.
The full report can be found in the CSAA Resource Library.
WestEd has launched the Center on Standards, Assessment, and Accountability (CSAA) to build upon the expertise and technical assistance work and resources previously provided to states through the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI). The goal of the Center remains to implement student-focused accountability systems that are customized and research-based to deliver fair and valid measurements of student performance, while guiding educators and policymakers on making the best use of results.
While operating CSAI from 2005 until 2019, WestEd provided support for state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) in developing comprehensive content standards and standards-based assessment and accountability systems. Our work impacted students in all U.S. states and territories, of all ages and learning paths, including early childhood, K–12, postsecondary, and career and technical education. Our experts partnered with clients nationwide, providing policy guidance and assessment design services that were responsive to local contexts.
Through CSAA, we continue to deliver high-quality technical assistance to states, now coupled with our WestEd services designed to improve teaching and learning and drive informed decision making about standards, assessment, and accountability at the federal, state, and local levels.
Discover our comprehensive portfolio of solutions designed to support meaningful improvement of student learning:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) challenge traditional ways of measuring cognitive load. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), assessments aligned to NGSS must incorporate items representing a range of cognitive complexities.
The Delaware Department of Education (DOE) recently met this challenge when they modified the Task Analysis Guide in Science (TAGS). TAGS is an analytical tool for education researchers and practitioners analyzing science tasks and instruction. The Delaware DOE modified TAGS to fit into the state’s comprehensive science assessment system, categorizing NGSS-aligned assessment items along a continuum in terms of cognitive load.
This technical brief, developed in collaboration with the Delaware DOE, presents this new model for evaluating these cognitive ranges, and explores:
- How the goals of the NGSS set the stage for how students come to understand the world around them
- Why a multi-dimensional approach to assessment aligns with the expectations of the NGSS
- How cognitive load provides a multi-dimensional perspective of intellectual activity
Also included is an example of a practice item designed to measure cognitive complexities with the new science standards in mind.
Two-day Formative Insights Summer Institutes deliver unique, hands-on professional learning opportunities for both practitioners and school leaders seeking to improve student outcomes across subject areas. Institutes focus on transformational instructional practices that keep students motivated and equipped to monitor and direct their own learning.
One of the primary goals of formative assessment is to help educators shift away from one-dimensional “teacher delivers information” models of instruction towards more equitable frameworks that promote shared responsibility for learning between students and instructors.
In the Formative Insights Summer Institutes listed below, participants will be guided through research-based principles and practices that demonstrate how formative assessment can be leveraged to promote growth mindsets.
Through hands-on experiential and interactive learning, participants will gain the skills and knowledge needed to nurture student agency–in the classroom or schoolwide.
Formative Insights: Fostering Student Agency in the Classroom
Los Alamitos, CA – July 13-14
Boston, MA – July 27-28
As a participant, you will:
- Understand the role of student agency in academic achievement
- Understand how formative assessment can work as a lever to advance student agency
- Analyze stages of student agency development and how teachers can support this progression
- Practice new modalities for giving feedback and guiding metacognition through experiential learning modules and ample opportunities for collaboration
Formative Insights: School Leadership for Transforming Schoolwide Assessment Cultures
Los Alamitos, CA – July 15-16
Boston, MA – July 29-30
As a participant, you will:
- Learn the five guiding principles for improving leadership related to formative assessment
- Identify the signs of incremental changes in the teacher and student roles and how these shifts can become building blocks for transforming a schoolwide learning culture
- Develop site-specific tools to support these changes
- Practice new models for feedback and communication through experiential learning exercises
Cost to Attend
Early Bird Discount: $675 per participant if registering before March 31, 2020
Institute Fee: $725 per participant after April 1, 2020
Team Discount: A 10% group discount is available for teams of three or more registered at the same time. Note: early registration and team discounts cannot be combined.
Questions? Please reach out to Barbara Jones at email@example.com.