Today we are excited to announce the release of our new white paper, Teaching Comes First: How School District Leaders Can Support Teachers, Save Time, and Serve Students with a New Vision for Assessment.
When it comes to assessment, many educators feel that we have lost our way. In the majority of districts, testing seems to be taking up too much time and providing too little in return. Rather than valuable tools to improve teaching and learning, assessments are a jumbled, confusing mess of acronyms and stress.
Despite widespread dissatisfaction, district leaders often feel powerless to change their situation. Fortunately, there are actions they can take. In our work with districts across the country, we have seen leaders at all levels of a school system come together to develop an assessment strategy that helps refocus them on what matters most: great instruction.
Through the process we describe in this paper, our partners:
- Returned five days of instructional time back to their teachers and students on average by reducing time spent on testing;
- Replaced weak curricular materials with higher-quality ones, resulting in as much as 47 more days of instruction grounded in high-quality content;
- Increased the share of assessments meeting rigorous quality criteria from 18% to 94%; and
- Reclaimed assessment time for instructional rather than evaluative purposes, achieving a better balance of the two.
Check out the white paper to learn more. You’ll learn the steps of the process and gain insights that can help you get the most out of your assessment strategy efforts.