Research & Development

Early Childhood and Literacy Assessment


Michigan’s youngest learners are assessed for a variety of purposes and in multiple settings. Public policy initiatives and the continued push for federal and state accountability inspire the need for more and better information about assessment best practices and assessment sytems used in early childhood (pre-school through third-grade).

That’s why the we’re working with partners to understand best practice in assessment and develop models, resources, and tools educators need to ensure the use of valid and appropriate assessment practices with pre-K through grade three students and beyond.

Current Research and Development

Early Literacy Assessment System (ELAS) Project 

We’re working with the Michigan Department of Education and other early literacy partners to finalize and disseminate a comprehensive literacy assessment system guide and accompanying professional learning supports. The guide is designed to inform policy, provide guidance and resources, and form the basis of professional learning to promote high quality assessment practices and systems that support the development of literacy.
Partners in this work include:
~ Michigan Department of Education
~ MAISA Early Literacy Task Force
~ University of Michigan
~ Michigan State University
~ MI-ASCD
~ Learning Forward

Early Literacy Assessment Systems that Support Learning: A Guide to District Assessment Systems that Support Learning is expected to be released in February 2020, and discussions about professional learning support are underway.

Also in support of early literacy assessment, the Assessment Learning Network hosted a one-day learning event, Assessment that Advances Literacy,  that featured Tanya Wright (Michigan State University) and national assessment expert Margaret Heritage. The Michigan School Testing Conference (MSTC) in 2019 and 2020 featured clinics and plenaries on assessment practice that supports literacy development.

Quick Links

Assessment that Advances Literacy–ALN Session

Michigan School Testing Conference (MSTC) 2020: Featured Presentations
~Early Literacy Assessment Systems Report and Implications for Michigan Schools (ELAS Contributors)
~How Young Children Learn to Read and Write (Tanya Wright)
~Assessment Systems: What Are They, Why Do We Need Them, and How Might We Construct One in Michigan? (Jim Pellegrino-Plenary)

Michigan School Testing Conference (MSTC) 2019:  Featured Presentations
~ New Perspectives on English Language Acquisition: Enhancing Opportunities for Language Development in Subject-Matter Classrooms (Guadalupe Valdés)
Early Literacy Development in Children Age 3 to Grade 3 (Nell Duke)
~Teaching and Assessing Disciplinary Literacy in Secondary Schools (Elizabeth Birr Moje)

To learn more about the MAC’s Research and Development, contact Ed Roeber at (517) 816-4520.

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Our resource bank contains additional research papers and resources to support educators in the effective use of assessment.

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