Achieve, Inc, the Bill and Melinda Gates-funded education organization that was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Common Core standards, has announced the launch of a new assessment tool that the group touts will “enable district leaders to take stock of how many assessments are administered throughout a school year and for what purposes they give assessments.”
In a press release on Thursday, Achieve said that the new tool can be used by education leaders to make decisions about the appropriate amount of testing for students and for added transparency with parents about testing.
The new assessment tool, titled the Student Assessment Inventory for School Districts, was piloted in Connecticut and will be available to states and school districts nationwide.
“We in Connecticut are proud to have helped pilot this tool, which will help our districts analyze and streamline the assessments that they’re administering,” said Connecticut Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor. “Given our transition to the new Common Core state standards, it’s important that we enable schools to choose and use only those assessments that are aligned to these standards and are most useful to educators.”
Achieve states that the tool enables an “assessment inventory process” that consists of four stages: Reflect and Plan, Conduct the Inventory, Analyze the Inventory, and Make Recommendations.
“This assessment inventory will guide district leaders through the review process to make certain that the tests they require are of value for teachers, students, and parents,” said Michael Cohen, president of Achieve. “As many states transition to new Common Core-aligned tests designed to better measure content knowledge and critical thinking skills, it’s a good time for districts to reassess their testing requirements as well.”
“This tool will enable districts, with their school leaders and teachers, to ensure that only high quality assessments that are valuable and necessary for student achievement are used,” Cohen added. “In many instances, this should result in fewer and better tests.”