NWEA Launches New Initiative to Examine & Improve Assessment Education for Teachers

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National Task Force and Online Resource Site to Address Gaps in Assessment Literacy

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Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) today announced a new initiative designed to advance teacher preparation and professional development in the use of assessment in teaching and learning. The initiative includes a Task Force that will guide efforts to improve assessment literacy nationwide and the newly expanded AssessmentLiteracy.org website that will provide extensive resources to foster understanding of assessment and its role in learning.

Over the next year, the Task Force will explore how to better equip educators to use informal and formal assessment to inform and advance student learning. The Task Force will include representatives from both pre-service and in-service educators, including teachers, principals, superintendents, college professors, national education organizations, and leaders in assessment education.

Three key advisors will help guide this work – Rick Stiggins, founder and CEO of the Assessment Training Institute; Terri Akey, Co-Director, Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment at Education Northwest; and Bernice Stafford, most recently Vice President, Implementation and Education Partnerships at Evans Newton Incorporated and Board Chair at WestEd.

“Assessment is a crucial part of the teaching and learning cycle, and yet many educators aren’t getting the support or preparation they need to use information from assessments to help students succeed,” noted NWEA CEO Matt Chapman. “We are committed to addressing this challenge and identifying the most promising solutions. Assessment literacy is a central component of NWEA’s national agenda.”

Public opinion research conducted in 2014 for NWEA revealed that many teachers feel underprepared to use assessment results to inform their teaching. Simultaneously, district leaders believe that educator preparation programs need to better train teachers to integrate assessment results into instructional practice.

A key hub for this initiative is AssessmentLiteracy.org, a resource center designed to help teachers and administrators understand the different types and purposes of assessments, interpret findings, and apply results effectively in the classroom. It also provides a variety of perspectives, news, and analysis of assessment and its evolving role in K-12 education.

“We as educators are ready for a real conversation about assessment, one that provides our profession with an opportunity to move from frustration to action,” said advisor Rick Stiggins. “The moment is right for this work and we are committed to building better knowledge about assessment and to integrating it into every teacher’s introduction to the profession.”

Members of the Task Force for Assessment Education for Teachers will be announced in early October.

About Northwest Evaluation Association
Founded by educators nearly 40 years ago, Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our suite of assessments, including our flagship interim assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®), and Skills Navigator®, a skills mastery and progress monitoring tool. More than 7,600 partners in U.S. schools, school districts, education agencies, and international schools trust us to offer pre-kindergarten through grade 12 assessments that accurately measure student growth and mastery, professional development that fosters educators' ability to accelerate student learning, and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. To better inform instruction and maximize every learner's academic growth, educators currently use NWEA assessments with nearly eight million students. Learn more at nwea.org.

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Jean Fleming
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