The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) selected ASG to assist it in preparing an RFP for the administration, scoring and reporting of its new assessment system, provide its proprietary Cost Sheets for inclusion in the RFP, and provide technical evaluations of the vendor responses to the RFP. ASG staff has written, evaluated and reviewed hundreds of state RFPs for assessment services and looks forward to working with TDOE in developing the RFP and evaluating the vendor responses.
Update – In December ASG completed its work for TDOE and the RFP is scheduled to be released in January 2019.
The process for conducting ASG’s 8th annual state assessment survey officially started today with ASG sending the participation letter to 50 state departments of education and the District of Columbia. Last year, 45 states and DC participated in the assessment survey which is designed to increase communication regarding issues of interest among the states. Participating states receive a database with all of the survey responses and can contact their peers in other states for further discussions. The complete database and a summary report will be issued by ASG in early 2019.
The Florida Department of Education partnered with Assessment Solutions Group (ASG) and others to conduct an in-depth analysis of the feasibility and impact of using the ACT and/or SAT in lieu of Florida's statewide assessments as provided in ESSA. Would such a system meet the federal requirements for technical quality, adequate accommodations, and alignment to standards? Would it provide comparable data and fit into the accountability system? Representatives from Florida and the ASG team discussed the results of the study and implications for states.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has given states more flexibility and authority for implementing new assessment and accountability systems. Many states have taken advantage of this opportunity by creating Assessment Task Forces (ATFs) and/or stakeholder committees to review their current systems and solicit input around how to implement improved assessment/accountability systems. Some states have taken a very deliberate approach to the assessment/accountability system redesign and engaged a well-thought-out process to solicit feedback from educators, administrators, and the public on how to best assess their students. These states have used ATFs to gather extensive feedback and review their options for assessment/accountability systems. In this session, two states provided details on how they have worked recently with ATFs and ASG to gather input from key stakeholders and rethink how their assessment systems might be improved.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced today that it has retained the services of ASG to assist it in writing two RFPs for assessment services, provide cost sheets for the RFP, and perform cost analysis of the vendor RFP responses for its next summative assessment. Kentucky and ASG have a long history of working together starting in 2010. The state has hired ASG to write each of its assessment RFPs and provide cost analysis services of vendor RFP responses since 2010. ASG completed its work in early 2018 on an RFP for College Entrance Exams and more will complete work on a major RFP for a new assessment program, to be issued by KDE in fall 2018.
ASG completed and delivered its report to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) today on the Feasibility and Use of ACT and SAT in Lieu of Statewide Assessments on schedule earlier today. This important study included analyses of comparability, accountability, accommodations, alignment, and whether such an assessment system would be likely to pass UDED peer review. ASG managed the process and authored the peer review section of the report. Subcontractors University of Wisconsin (WebbAlign), Kansas University (Center for Assessment Accountability Research and Design), and University of Minnesota (National Center on Education Outcomes) completed the alignment, comparability/accountability and accommodations studies for the project.
The final report can be found at the following link: Final Report
The WIDA Assessment Consortium and ASG announced an agreement today to have ASG assist WIDA with several services in support of its ACCESS 2.0 English language proficiency assessment. The multi-year agreement will see ASG provide consulting services in a number of technical assessment areas, Information Technology consulting, RFP review services, and several different assessment cost analyses in support of WIDA’s ACCESS 2.0 assessment.
PAST ASG ACTIVITIES
(BOISE) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is continuing a statewide dialogue about what Idahoans want in their assessments for public schools.
“As I shared with educators last spring, a thoughtful conversation about what Idahoans want and value in an assessment system is long overdue,” Superintendent Ybarra said. “We are building on our successful Idaho Challenge, where Idahoans participated in a careful review of what we want students to know and be able to do. That resulted in the Idaho Content Standards, and now it’s time to talk about testing.”
The State Department of Education is teaming with Assessment Solutions Group throughout the 2017-18 school year to engage stakeholders -- from teachers to parents to business leaders -- in thinking and talking about K-12 testing.
“This isn’t a conversation about the strengths or weakness of specific tests,” Superintendent Ybarra said. “We want to hear from stakeholders what they value in assessment programs. We will share that information to guide the development of our state program to support student learning.”
A task force of representatives from stakeholder groups is expected to meet about five times during the year to review research and learn about how various assessments support teaching and learning. In addition, SDE Director of Assessment and Accountability Karlynn Laraway said, the department and ASG will engage other Idahoans through focus groups and gathering feedback through an online survey.
A report summarizing the task force’s work is expected to be shared with State Board of Education in June 2018.
The process for conducting ASG’s 7th annual state assessment survey officially started today with ASG sending the participation letter to 50 state departments of education and the District of Columbia. Last year 43 states and DC participated in the assessment survey which is designed to increase communication regarding issues of interest among the states. Participating states receive a database with all of the survey responses and can contact their peers in other states for further discussions.
The Indiana Department of Education will partner with ASG to determine the appropriate price for its new assessment system and issue the RFP for assessment services. ASG will use its proprietary cost model to determine the appropriate price for Indiana’s new assessment system and perform a technical review of the RFP for assessment services. Additionally, ASG will lead the technical review meetings of the state’s general and alternate assessment review committees.
The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction selected ASG to assist it in drafting its RFP for state assessment services, develop its proprietary Cost Sheets for inclusion in the RFP and provide cost analysis services of vendor RFP responses. ASG has saved states over $100 million in helping them analyze and reduce assessment costs.
The process for conducting ASG’s 6th annual state assessment survey officially started today with ASG sending the participation letter to 50 state departments of education and the District of Columbia. Last year 42 states and DC participated in the assessment survey which is designed to increase communication regarding issues of interest among the states. Participating states receive a database with all of the survey responses and can contact their peers in other states for further discussions.
The Education Alliance announced today it has contracted with ASG to conduct a project to determine the qualities of state assessments that West Virginians value, develop a set of key criteria based on those (and additional technical) qualities, and evaluate various publicly available assessments against the key criteria. The purpose of the project is to provide decision makers with objective information and a set of criteria and an analytical framework that can be used to evaluate potential state assessments.
A two-phased approach will be used for the project — Phase I: the identification of the key assessment criteria valued by West Virginia stakeholders; and Phase II: the analysis of available assessments’ strengths and weaknesses based on those criteria. Phase I of the project will include three methods of information gathering: (1) an electronic survey, (2) a series of focus group discussions, and (3) convening a stakeholder group. After stakeholder information is summarized, the second phase of the project will focus on conducting independent research on features and qualities of various national assessments currently being marketed and used by states to satisfy federal requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), evaluating how each of these assessments rates against the key criteria developed in Phase I of the project, and presenting additional information West Virginia decision makers should consider when evaluating the state’s assessment options.
ASG and the Maine Department of Education announced an agreement today for ASG to review and provide input on its soon to be released RFP for assessment services related to the new Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) Math and English Language Arts/Literacy Assessment. ASG will review the RFP and provide input to ensure that the state’s fiduciary interests are protected. Additionally, ASG will provide its cost sheets for inclusion in the RFP for assessment services and provide cost analysis of the vendor proposals to administer the assessment. ASG has saved states over $100 Million since 2010 in providing cost analysis services.
ASG announced today that it recently completed its work for the Mississippi Department of Education in providing assessment cost analysis and vendor negotiation services related to the Department’s recently issued RFP for a new summative assessment in ELA and Mathematics and end-of-course assessments in Algebra I and English II. By using ASG to provide vendor cost analysis and vendor negotiation services, Mississippi was able to save $12 when negotiating the final contract price with the selected assessment vendor. ASG had previously written the RFP for assessment design and implementation services so it was well versed in the details of the Mississippi program.
ASG announced today that it will be moderating a 90 minute session on “lessons learned in implementing high quality assessment systems” during the June CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment in San Diego. Four states, Idaho, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio will present lessons learned in implementing their new high quality assessment systems in the recently concluded 2014-2015 testing year. A wide variety of topics will be covered including implementing high quality assessment systems that respond to states needs, using new technology delivery systems to assess students, working one’s way through political issues in developing new assessment programs, as well as implementing new assessment systems as part of an assessment consortium and as a single state.
ASG issued two reports outlining the findings of its 2014-2015 state assessment system to participating states today. The purpose of the survey is to give states visibility as to how their peers are handling a host of issues related to implementing the next generation of assessments in the 2014-2015 administrative year. The reports outline the qualitative and quantitative features of the state assessment survey that ASG has been conducting since 2011 and provide a wealth of data to participating states. The qualitative report covers topics such as how states are implementing new technology delivery systems, status of consortium membership, security concerns, other technology concerns, and quality issues in state assessments. The quantitative report provides a breakdown of participating state assessment costs, by subject area, consortium membership and assessment type. Roughly 40 states participate in the annual survey.