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