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Aurora Institute


Clearing the Path for Assessment Innovation: The Role of Federal Policy

Author(s): Aurora Institute, The Center for Assessment, Center for Innovation in Education, Envision Learning Partners, The Great Schools Partnership, KnowledgeWorks

Organization(s): The Great Schools Partnership, Aurora Institute, Center for Innovation in Education, Center for Assessment, KnowledgeWorks, Envision Learning Partners

Issue(s): Federal Policy, State Policy

Launch Site

Realizing the full potential of student-centered learning requires transformation of traditional approaches to assessment and accountability.

It is time for policymakers to take a fresh look at these initiatives and take steps – both near- and longer-term – to better leverage federal support for states’ design and use of innovative, student-centered assessments.

To create more equitable assessment and accountability systems that empower and encourage the adoption of new teaching and learning models aligned to student-centered learning, we must shift course and provide a realistic pathway for state and local innovation. Without a clear pathway, educators and communities will lose faith in our systems and millions of federal dollars intended to support assessment innovation will not bear fruit. Now is the time to create the running room states and districts need to try new approaches and demonstrate impact.

In Clearing the Path for Assessment Innovation: The Role of Federal Policy, you will read about:

-Current federal assessment opportunities such as the Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) program, the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) and flexibility within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA)

-Innovation themes from states, including the critical importance of CGSA funding, efforts to leverage assessments to improve instruction and addressing assessment with related professional development

-Examples of assessment innovation from three states

-Recommendations for a path forward to build on the groundwork states are laying to foster innovation and opportunity in assessment across the nation