NCSA 2023 was a very important time for NATP. We had the honor and pleasure of joining some of the nation’s biggest assessment vendors and some of the most powerful equity advocates in deep discussions about how we can improve our current assessments and assessment systems.
Vendor collaboration resulted in some of our biggest testing vendors working past competition to embrace collaborative projects that will support us all! Additionally, equity champions shared potential solutions to current and persistent assessment problems. Both ended with a call to action and invitations to connect, engage, and lead!
Tips and Key Takeaways below:
Vendor Collaboration – Tips for Supporting State Solutions
1. Building vendor contract management plan
- States and vendors should consider themselves to “be on the same team.”
2. Maintain a dialogue with vendors about priorities and expectations
- Setting Up, Living Up, Renegotiating Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations
3. Consider cost vs. commitment
- Procurement challenges to collaboration and positive partnerships with vendors
4. Seek vendors’ expertise and input on strategy
- Tell every new vendor that they are now part of our team. We win together, we lose together and there is no us/them.
5. Build lasting relationships with your vendors
6. Take an interest in your vendors.
Sitting: Zach Warner, NY Department of Ed; Andy Middlestead, Michigan Department of Ed
Standing from left to right: Mary Anne Arcilla, ETS; Elda Garcia,NATP; Lara Miller, Education Advanced; Chloe Torres, NWEA; Trent Workman, Pearson
Equity and Fairness from the Voices that Matter – Key Takeaways
- Re-think the purpose of assessments – summative assessments are being forced to do things they were not designed to do, like inform instruction and accountability
- Misalignment is an issue
- Standards – Curriculum
- Curriculum – Assessments
- Assessments – Accountability
- Improve assessments – we need better, more culturally-relevant items, anti-racist content, remove bias
- Improve the assessment literacy for all – educators, district and state leaders, legislators, parents, etc.
- Pursue data beyond standardized test – other innovative ways to measure, observations, goal-setting, etc.
- Follow the money – maximize resources, so they make it to the students who need it most.
- “Create an army to burn down the system and re-create a new one”. – Dr. Jade Caines Lee
- Own past and current failures so we don’t repeat or perpetuate them
- Seize opportunities – internships, staff meetings, difficult conversations
- Propose solutions – don’t just point out the problems
- Recognize the power of research and leverage it.
- “Things will not change tomorrow because we didn’t get here yesterday” – Dr. Maria Armstrong
- Lean on others – keep the conversation going
- Connect – Engage – Lead
From left to right: Molly Faulkner-Bond, West Ed; Jennifer Randall, Center for Measurement Justice; Elda Garcia, NATP; Jade Caines Lee, University of Kansas; Maria Armstrong, ALAS