Testing

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Testing

District Leadership in the New Era of Assessment

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Mathew Frizzell, Nancy Kober, and Maria Ferguson
Published: February 15, 2017

This report, based on a spring 2016 survey of a nationally representative sample of school district leaders in 42 Common Core-adopting states, explores issues related to assessment.  The report highlights district officials’ experiences with administering state Common Core-aligned assessments, how the student achievement data from those exams is used, views on the amount of time that students are tested, and the extent to which students opted out of the 2015 state exams.

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What Do Teachers and District Leaders Feel about State Standards and Assessments?

Author(s): Maria Ferguson, Nancy Kober, and Diane Stark Rentner
Published: February 15, 2017

This three-report summary synthesizes the key findings about teachers and district leaders’ views on standards and assessments and provides recommendations for state leaders. The three reports drawn upon for this summary are Listen to Us: Teacher Views and Voices (teacher survey report); Listening to and Learning from Teachers: A Summary of Focus Groups on the Common Core and Assessments; and District Leadership in the New Era of Assessment.

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Listening to and Learning from Teachers: A Summary of Focus Groups on the Common Core and Assessments

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Nancy Kober, Mathew Frizzell, and Maria Ferguson
Published: October 12, 2016

This report summarizes discussions from five elementary teacher focus groups conducted in Delaware, Illinois, Utah, and Wisconsin in spring and summer of 2016. Topics addressed include the Common Core State Standards, curricula, instructional materials, CCSS-aligned state assessments, student achievement data from those assessments, and accountability.  Where possible, the teachers’ comments are compared to the findings from CEP’s 2015 teacher survey.

The Center on Education Policy (CEP) conducted a webinar that highlighted findings from CEP's newest report, Listening to and Learning from Teachers You can view and download materials from the webinar here.

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Listen to Us: Teacher Views and Voices

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Nancy Kober and Matthew Frizzell
Published: May 5, 2016

In the winter of 2015, CEP surveyed a nationally representative sample of public school teachers to learn their views on the teaching profession, state standards and assessments, testing, and teacher evaluations.  The report, Listen to Us: Teacher Views and Voices, summarizes these survey findings, including responses indicating that public school teachers are concerned and frustrated with shifting policies, over emphasis on student testing, and their lack of voice in decision-making.

Also included below is a ready-to-use comprehensive Power Point presentation of key findings from CEP's Teacher Survey Report, Listen to Us: Teacher Views and Voices. You can listen to the webinar here.

Listen to Us: Teacher Views and Voices Tables and Figures
Each of the tables and figures that appear in the report have been converted to individual JPEG images.  These images maybe used without explicit permission from the Center on Education Policy as long as appropriate attribution is given to the CEP as the source.  Also, the JPEG images do not include the notes that appeared with each of the tables and figures in the report.  Please refer to the report for the notes and to Appendix 2 for information on the confidence intervals.

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Deconstructing the 2015 NAEP Results

Author(s): Nancy Kober
Published: February 2, 2016

The 2015 NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) results were both surprising and unsettling for many education leaders. CEP's Nancy Kober gets some insight from a panel of experts and deconstructs the findings. This short piece helps explain what they mean and don't mean for the future of public education.

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Knowing the Score: The Who, What, and Why of Testing

Author(s): Nancy Kober
Published: November 3, 2015

Recently, the amount and variety of testing occurring in public schools has received considerable national attention. To help parents, educators, policymakers, and others sort out all the differing information and opinions on testing, the Center on Education Policy at the George Washington University has developed Knowing the Score: The Who, What, and Why of Testing. This publication provides objective information and explanations of important issues related to assessment in K-12 schools, including —

  • Basic facts about testing and common reasons for testing
  • The impacts of the federal government, states, and school districts on the amount and type of testing
  • The historical roots of current testing requirements
  • Impact of the Common Core on testing
  • How individuals can determine how much testing is too much

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TestTalk for Leaders-Issue 4: The Good News Behind Average NAEP Scores

Author(s): Dalia Zabala
Published: January 1, 2006

Issue 4: The Good News Behind Average NAEP Scores - Analysis of data from the October 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress report shows higher achievement scores by certain subgroups than the average.

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TestTalk for Leaders-Issue 3: My School Didn't Make Adequate Yearly Progress - So What Does That Mean?

Author(s): Nancy Kober
Published: October 1, 2004

Issue 3: My School Didn't Make Adequate Yearly Progress -- So What Does That Mean? - A brief overview of the significance of failing to meet adequate yearly progress as it relates to states' progress as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act.

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TestTalk for Leaders-Issue 2: What Tests Can and Cannot Tell Us

Author(s): Nancy Kober
Published: October 1, 2002

Issue 2: What Tests Can and Cannot Tell Us - A brief overview of the pluses and minuses of standardized testing.

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TestTalk for Leaders-Issue 1: Teaching to the Test: The Good, the Bad, and Who Is Responsible

Author(s): Nancy Kober
Published: June 1, 2002

Issue 1: Teaching to the Test: The Good, the Bad, and Who Is Responsible - A brief review of what constitutes good and bad practices in "teaching to the test." 

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