Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) the KnowledgeWorks policy shop has shifted into overtime preparing resources to help education stakeholders make sense of the new law. It’s been exhausting at times, but we keep pushing ahead because we believe this law is full of opportunity to advance personalized learning if states are thoughtful in how they craft their new vision for ESSA implementation.
While there are many things to get excited about in ESSA (click here for our full list), assessment appears to be the big winner. States now have the opportunity to redefine the national conversation about testing. Students no longer have to take meaningless tests that don’t do a good job of determining their knowledge and skills. They can build better assessments that are both relevant and timely.
To help states in this effort, KnowledgeWorks and the Center for Assessment just released a Visioning Toolkit for Better Assessmentthrough our website www.innovativeassessments.org. The goal of this toolkit is to help stakeholders better understand the full range of options under the new ESSA law and to begin translating that into actual assessment designs. It includes an infographic of the assessment opportunities under ESSA, answers to frequently asked questions, enabling state policy conditions, 15 examples of innovative assessment models permissible under the new Demonstration Authority, and a guide to developing a theory of action for innovative assessments.