Assessment tools and products abound, but district leaders need support in how to build a coherent and comprehensive system that can lead to improved student learning.
Our research is helping to inform this important area of school leadership, shaping the development of new resources for educators and policy makers.
We developed a series of self-paced, online Assessment Learning Modules that are aligned to Assessment Literacy Standards (endorsed by the Michigan State Board of Education in May of 2016) that are the core of all our professional learning opportunities. We created the Assessment Literacy Standards to inform sound assessment policy and support professional learning.
Several nationally known assessment experts contributed to the 9-module series. Each module provides an opportunity for engagement, reflection and access to tools and other resources that can continue to support educators’ professional learning.
In August of 2019, we trained a group of Michigan educators to use our Assessment Learning Modules (ALMs) to promote assessment literacy among their local and intermediate school district staff and to improve the quality and effectiveness of local assessment systems.
This work builds on a proof-of-concept pilot undertaken in 2017-18 using the District Assessment System Design Toolkit (DASD) and an associated process (developed by the Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment–NCIEA) in selected Michigan districts.
We were pleased to pilot the use of newly developed facilitator guides designed to support the use of our Assessment Learning Modules for local and ISD blended-learning models.
The District Assessment System Design Toolkit (DASD), developed by the Center for Assessment, was used to guide a process of designing a district assessment system or evaluating and improving an existing one.
We identified potential school districts (coordinated by their ISDs), provided facilitators, experienced the facilitated process, and communicated feedback on how the process and the Toolkit could be enhanced.