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Author(s):Alliance for Excellent Education
Title:Principles for a comprehensive assessment system
Organization:Alliance for Excellent Education
Short Description:This brief suggests the principles upon which the federal government and states should base their work in fashioning new assessments. Recognizing that no single test can fulfill all the needs for information by all stakeholders, it suggests the need for a comprehensive system of assessments.
Annotation:The United States is poised to make the most dramatic advance in assessment in decades. A state-led effort to develop common core standards in literacy and mathematics is defining what it means to be ready for colleges and careers, and this effort will invariably heighten the demand for assessments that measure a broader range of knowledge and skills and open the door for common assessment components across states. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education is providing $350 million for consortia of states to develop new assessments that measure the common core standards. And a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will set guidelines for assessments and their use for years to come. This opportunity could not be more timely. There is widespread concern that the most prominent assessments currently being used in the United States are inadequate and may have a significantly negative impact on student learning. This brief suggests the principles upon which the federal government and states should base their work in fashioning new assessments. Recognizing that no single test can fulfill all the needs for information by all stakeholders, it suggests the need for a comprehensive system of assessments. Most importantly, the brief argues that this system needs to be coherent and cohesive, aligned to standards for college and career readiness.
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Associated Keywords:
Elementary School
High School
Middle School
Preparation/College Readiness
School Reform
Testing/Assessment/Standardized Test Results

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No Child Left Behind: State report card 2005-2006
LearnMore Indiana 2006-07 report: Results of Indiana's career and college information survey of students in grades 9 and 11
American Indian and Alaska Native students in U.S. high schools
Student success: Statewide P-16 systems -- curriculum and assessment systems
Pushed out or pulled up: Exit exams and dropout rates in public high schools
Encouraging news for college bound foster youth
American diploma project network Indiana action plan
Recent STEM initiatives
What works clearinghouse
National forum to accelerate middle grades reform
The Gates effect
Examining college remediation trends in Indiana
College tools for schools
State Cards (statistical snapshots of high school data by state)
Big ideas dropout prevention strategies: Check and Connect
2007-08 Directory of colleges cooperating with the SAT program fee-waiver service
Into the eye of the storm: Assessing the evidence on science and engineering education, quality, and workforce demand
The state role in accelerating student growth in low-performing high schools
Comprehensive school reform quality center report on middle and high school comprehensive school reform models
Early and often: Designing a comprehensive system of financial aid information
Mapping state proficiency standards onto NAEP scales: 2005-2007
A mission of the heart: What does it take to transform a school?
Diplomas count 2008 (Indiana state report): School to college: Can P-16 councils ease the transition
Closing the expectations gap 2009: Fourth annual 50-state progress report on the alignment of high school policies with the demands of college and careers
6th Annual AP Report to the Nation: State Reports
Building an early childhood professional development system
Strong foundations: The state of postsecondary data systems
Insulating the education pipeline to increase postsecondary success
Lumina Foundation focus: The productivity push: System wide reform allows Arizona to serve more students
Yes we can: The Schott state report on black males and education (national and state reports)
Helping students get back on track: What federal policymakers can learn from New York City's multiple pathways to graduation initiative
Access without equity: Longitudinal analysis of institutional stratification by race and ethnicity: 1972-2004
Now what? Imperatives and options for common core implementation and governance
Overlooked and underpaid: How Title 1 shortchanges high schools, and what ESEA can do about it
Experimental evidence on the effect of childhood investments on postsecondary attainment and degree completion
Examining the role of summer bridge programs in promoting college readiness and completion: Lessons learned from Texas' developmental summer bridges
Restructuring 'restructuring': Improving interventions for low-performing schools and districts
Understanding costs of credit-based transition programs in Indiana
Culturally responsive Response to Intervention
Enhancing college student success through developmental education
Breakthrough Collaborative
Raising rigor, getting results: Lessons learned from AP expansion
This school works for me: Creating choices to boost student achievement: A guide for America's leaders
The Everyone Graduates Center
Achieve Standards Alignment Tool
Gold Star School Counseling
The false promise of class-size reduction
The College Match Program
Four steps to finishing first: An agenda for increasing college productivity to create a better educated society
8th Annual AP report to the nation
Don't count us out: How an overreliance on accountability could undermine the public's confidence in schools, business, government and more
The Future Ready Project
The midwest challenge: Matching jobs with education in the post-recession economy
The urgency of now: The Schott 50-state report on public education and black males
A dozen facts about k-12 education
Data that matters: Giving high schools useful feedback on grads' outcomes
2012 National survey of school counselors
Portable, stackable credentials: A new education model for industry-specific career pathways
Highlights from TIMSS 2011: Mathematics and science achievement of U.S. fourth and eighth-grade students in an international context
Standards for quality online teaching
New Technology High School postsecondary student success study
Developing the STEM education pipeline
High school planner: Your guide to planning for college
Keeping America competitive: Five strategies to improve mathematics and science education
A call to action: Transforming high school for all youth
Ladders of learning: Fighting fade-out by advancing pK-3 alignment
Qualified teachers for at-risk schools: A national imperative
Student readiness for college: Connecting state policies
How is school reform tied to increasing college access and success for low income and minority youth
Effects of students’ middle school and high school experiences on completion of the bachelor’s degree: How can school counselors make a difference?
Analyzing state and regional K-16 policies: A toolkit for researchers and policy analysts
Decisions without direction: Career guidance and decision-making among American youth
Middle-class schools for all
Raising achievement and graduation rates by supporting teachers in developing quality classroom instruction
Setting the '08 education agenda for the nation: Aligning early learning, K-12, and postsecondary systems
Students with learning disabilities transitioning from high school to college
The sensitivity of the ACT to instruction
What are ACT's college readiness benchmarks?
Improving performance on the ACT assessment
Selected state data
The forgotten choice? Rethinking magnet schools in a changing landscape
Features of state response to intervention initatives in Northeast and Islands Region states
National Indian Education Study 2007 Part II: The educational experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native students in grades 4 and 8
Critical conditions for equity and diversity in college access: Informing policy and monitoring results
The Condition of Latinos in education: 2008 Factbook
Making the dream a reality: Action steps for states to prepare all students for college and career
Facts for education advocates
More student success: A systemic solution
Annotated bibliography of resources for transforming school counseling
Promoting quality: State strategies for overseeing dual enrollment programs
Improving achievement for the growing Latino population is critical to the nation's future
College success for all: How the Hidalgo independent school district is adopting early college as a district-wide strategy
Why Pathways? A Better Approach to Transforming High School Education in California
State test score trends through 2007-08, Part 5: Are there differences in achievement between boys and girls?
Promoting a comprehensive approach to educational opportunity: A pilot inventory of education-related federal programs for children and youth
Retaining Teacher Talent Study
Hear us out: High school students in two cities talk about going to college
Striving for student success: A model of shared accountability
College Board AP Summary Reports: 2009
Getting past go project: State reports on the cost of remedial education
Data Quality Campaign: Data for action 2010: Executive summary
Cross-system collaboration for reconnecting youth
Monitoring progress: Response to intervention (RTI)'s promise and pitfalls
Funding education equitably: The "comparability provision" the move to fair and transparent school budgeting systems
Mind the (other) gap!: The growing excellence gap in k-12 education
Education Trust-West
Focusing on the essentials for college and career readiness: Policy implications of the ACT national curriculum survey results 2009
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Route 21: 21st century skills information, resources, and community tools
Equitable resources in low income schools: Teacher equity and the Federal Title 1 comparability requirement
How much growth toward college readiness is reasonable to expect in high school?
Poverty and potential: Out-of-school factors and school success
50-state analysis of the preparation of teachers and the conditions for teaching: Results from the NCES schools and staffing survey
Education at a glance 2008: OECD indicators
Creating change one step at a time: Efforts to improve college access and success in Indiana
Higher education commission helps high schools track graduates' progress
Minority student success: The role of teachers in Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses
The Benwood plan: A lesson in comprehensive teacher reform
High school remediation
Mandating supplemental intervention services: Is New York state doing enough to help all students succeed?
Are charter schools making a difference? A study of student outcomes in eight states
The economic benefits from halving Indianapolis's dropout rate: A boon to regional business
Setting up success in developmental education: How state policy can help community colleges improve student success outcomes
2008 College-bound seniors
Removing the roadblocks: Fair college opportunities for all California students
Benefits of additional high school coursework and improved course performance in preparing students for college
Federal Education Budget Project
Reading next: A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy
Investing in the education of older students: A summary of the evidence
Strategic instruction model
Fair test: Schools that do not use SAT or ACT scores for admitting substantial numbers of students into Bachelor's degree program
Supporting parent, family, and community involvement in your school
Are teachers prepared for racially diverse schools? Teachers describe their preparation, resources, and practices for racially diverse schools
State approaches to more reliable and uniform dropout and graduation data
Five academic reasons why state virtual schools are important to your state
Are public schools really losing their "best"? Assessing the career transitions of teachers and their implications for the quality of the teacher workforce
The future of public education in New Orleans
Who graduates in California?
Career development and occupational studies resource guide with core curriculum
High school curriculum, diplomas, and SAT Scores: How high school curriculum and diploma choices relate to SAT scores and college choice
Improving high-school-to-college transition through leadership and governance
Articulation, alignment, and the challenge of college-readiness
ACT high school profile report: National
ACT high school profile report: Indiana
The benefits of statewide use of the ACT test
The economic benefits of reducing the dropout rate among students of color in the nation's largest metropolitan areas
Experiencing integration in Louisville: How parents and students see the gains and challenges
Building capacity to promote college- and career-readiness for secondary-level English language learners: Policy brief featuring Austin, Texas
State R&D and k-12 STEM Education Report Cards
State high school tests: Exit exams and other assessments
Policy implications of trends for Asian American students
Retaining students in grade: A literature review of the effects of retention on students' academic and nonacademic outcomes
Assessing developmental assessment in community colleges
Ready by 21 case study: Austin, TX
Education and the economy: Boosting state and national economies by improving high school graduation rates
Doing more with less: The inequitable funding of community colleges
Cracks in the ivory tower? The views of education professors circa 2010
One-shot deal? Students' perceptions of assessment and course placement in California's community colleges
Meeting the STEM workforce demand: Accelerating math learning among students interested in STEM
Predicting success in college: The importance of placement tests and high school transcripts
Research support for school counseling
Expanded time, enriching experiences: Expanded learning time schools and community organization partnerships
Current challenges and opportunities in preparing rural high school students for success in college and careers: What federal policymakers need to know
Choice without equity: Charter school segregation and the need for civil rights standards
Promoting a culture of student success: How colleges and universities are improving degree completion
BC AVID: Early implementation report
Background and context for equity audits
The rising price of inequality: How inadequate grant aid limits college access and persistence
Working with teachers to develop fair and reliable measures of effective teaching
Schools without diversity: Education management organizations, charter schools, and the demographic stratification of the American school system
Teacher evaluation: New approaches for a new decade
Response to Intervention (RTI) and English Learners (ELLs)
Deciding on postsecondary education
From qualifications to results: Promoting teacher effectiveness through federal policy
Education Equality Project
The Education Equality Project: Improving teacher quality
Today's promise, tomorrow's future: The social and educational factors contributing to the outcomes of Hispanics in urban schools
View from the field: How to launch district virtual learning
MTE Partnership seeks to transform mathematics teacher preparation in support of common core standards
Raising the bar from Ready by 21 to credentialed by 26: Highlights from community and state efforts
RTTD Action brief: Establishing the foundational conditions for personalized learning
Rethinking remedial education: The role of MSIs in serving underreprepared students in the 21st century
The stealth inequities of school funding: How state and local school finance systems perpetuate inequitable school spending
One in seven: Ranking youth disconnection in the 25 largest metro areas
Closing achievement gaps: Improving educational outcomes for Hispanic children: English language acquisition and middle school preparation: Keys to Latino educational success
Increasing online learning options for K-12 students: The role of school districts
Mapping state proficiency standards onto the NAEP scales: Variation and change in state standards for reading and mathematics, 2005-09
College Bound Seniors 2011
Investing in education powers US competitiveness: Education funding must be preserved
The condition of education 2012 (Report)
Collegiate remediation: A review of the causes and consequences
Getting ready for success: Bridging the gap between high school and college in Tacoma, Washington
A better measure of skills gaps: Utilizing ACT skill profile and assessment data for strategic skill research
Can scholarships alone help students succeed? Lessons from two New York City community colleges
Redesigning schools: 10 features of effective schools
State-level high school improvement systems checklist
Charting a new course for career and technical education
ACT high school profile report: The graduation class of 2007 (Indiana)
Educational programs and projects that address the needs of low-income students
A state leader's action guide to 21st century skills
It's kind of different: Student experiences in two early college high schools
Involving families in high school and college expectations
Public education and Black male students: The 2006 state report card
Advanced placement report to the nation: 2006
Increasing the college preparedness of at-risk students
College bound seniors state profile report tutorial
Building the foundation for bright futures: Final report of the NGA task force on school readiness
School-to-career and post-secondary education: Evidence from the Philadelphia educational longitudinal study
A voice from the middle
A noble opportunity: Leading education change through a P-16 accountability model
Characteristics of minority students who excel on the SAT and in the classroom
Strategic designs: Lessons from leading edge small urban high schools
The value of value-added data
College is possible: A guide for undocumented students
Education watch Indiana: Key education facts and figures 2006
Education watch Washington: Key education facts and figures 2004
Education watch Washington: Key education facts and figures 2006
New Hampshire's multi-tiered approach to dropout prevention
National Center for Learning Disabilities
The student to counselor ratio: Does it matter?
Early intervention program and college partnerships
2009 College-bound seniors: Total group profile report
College readiness and high school-to-college success
What we must to do to create a system that prepares students for college success
Assessing the use and impact of ECMC Foundation's Realizing the College Dream curriculum
A next social contract for the primary years of education
Early college placement testing opportunities in Maine
Multiple Pathways in California: A New Option for High School Reform
High school dropouts and the economic losses from juvenile crime in California
Investing early: Intervention programs in selected U.S. states
State early commitment programs: A contract for college success?
Why high stakes accountability sounds good but doesn't work - And why we keep on doing it anyway
Eight components of college and career readiness counseling
State college- and career-ready high school graduation requirements comparison table
RTI classification tool and resource locator
A call to action to raise achievement for African American students
Southern Regional Education Board annual report: The essentials: What really counts in improving education
Still on the sidelines: What role will higher education trustees play in higher education reform?
Return on educational investment: A district-by-district evaluation of U.S. educational productivity
Turning around the nation's lowest performing schools: Five steps districts can take to improve their chances of success
Improving college performance and retention the easy way: Unpacking the ACT exam
The common core state standards: Implications for higher education in the west
Testing the impact of Higher Achievement's year-round out-of-school time program on academic outcomes
50-state mathematics requirements for the standard high school diploma
Greening community colleges: An environmental path to improving educational outcomes
On the road to success
State Cards (statistical snapshots of high school data by state) Updated 2012
Resisters, rejectors, and ridas: How to make urban schools work for disengaged students and critically conscious teachers
The road ahead: A look at trends in the educational attainment of community college students