Maryland got 5 million. (The proposed Consortium of seven States (Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland [fiscal agent],
Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio) and three partner organizations (WestEd, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education, and the University of Connecticut’s. Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Program) has a compelling vision for enhancing a multistate, state-of-the-art assessment system composed of a kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) and aligned formative assessments
Texas got 4 million. The Texas Education Agency (TEA), in collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center’s Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) – and backed by the Texas Association of School Boards, the Texas Association of School Administrators, and a network of renowned experts from the University of Miami, New York University, the University of Denver, the University of Virginia, the University of Texas at Austin, Michigan State University, and Kansas University – proposes to implement an ambitious and achievable Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment System (TX-KEA) that enhances the quality and variety of assessment instruments and systems used by Texas’ 1,227 school districts serving 5,075,840 total students, including up to 400,000 incoming kindergarten students across 4,342 elementary campuses, annually.
NC won 6 million dollars ($6,131,422 to be exact)
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) along with 8 other Consortium states (AZ, DE, DC, IA, ME, ND, OR, RI), one collaborating state (SC), and three research partners, SRI International, the BUILD initiative, and Child Trends, will enhance NC’s K-3 formative assessment which includes a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA). The Consortium believes that a KEA as part of a K-3 formative assessment will provide more meaningful and useful information for teachers than a stand-alone KEA. The Consortium proposes to enhance the K-3 assessment including the KEA because a single snapshot of how a child is functioning at kindergarten entry will have limited value and create an implementation challenge since teachers prefer information that can guide instruction for the entire school year. Furthermore, a good KEA must include content that extends beyond kindergarten to capture the skills of higher functioning children so enhancing an assessment that covers kindergarten entry through Grade 3 produces a significantly more useful assessment at marginal additional costs.
The NC K-3 assessment being developed under their RTT-ELC grant will be enhanced by: (a) aligning the content of the NC assessment to standards across the Consortium and enhancing the validity of the assessment through evidence-centered design (ECD) and universal design for learning (UDL); (b) incorporating smart technologies for recording and reporting to reduce assessment burden on teachers; and (c) expanding the utility of the assessment to a broader range of users by soliciting and incorporating input from stakeholders in the other Consortium states into the design of the assessment. The project will be led by NC DPI with a management team that includes the three research partners (SRI, BUILD and Child Trends) who will work together provide overall leadership and coordination to the project. Project work has been organized around seven major activity areas: (1) overall project management; (2) across- and within-state stakeholder engagement including support for implementation planning; (3) application of ECD/UDL to the assessment content; (4) enhancement of professional development materials; (5) pilot and field testing; (6) psychometric analyses and performance levels; and (7) technology. Each activity team will be led by either NC DPI or one of the research partners and many of the teams will include staff from more than one organization to facilitate cross-project coordination. The Consortium states will play a significant role in the development of the enhanced assessment. All Consortium states will undertake Tier 1 activities including participating in regular consortium calls and meetings; sharing state-developed early childhood and K-3 assessment-related materials including standards; providing input into the review of assessment-related materials; and conducting broad stakeholder outreach activities. Some Consortium states will engage in additional Tier 2 activities including participating in the ECD/UDL co-design teams; pilot testing the assessment content; pilot testing the assessment supports such as technology enhancements and reporting formats; field testing the assessment; convening state experts to review assessment-related materials; and conducting more in depth stakeholder engagement activities.
The primary outcome of this project will be an enhanced formative K-3 assessment that includes a KEA that provides powerful information for improving student outcomes. The EAC will be a developmentally appropriate, observation-based formative assessment based on learning progressions that teachers use to guide instruction across the five domains of development and learning. Smart technologies built into the EAC will assist teachers with documentation and scoring, minimizing teacher burden, increasing reliability, and maximizing the EAC’s utility so that teachers can use it on a regular basis to inform instruction. Additionally, the EAC will provide meaningful and useful information to the students and families. Students will receive developmentally appropriate information to show where they are in their learning and where they need to go next. Families will contribute evidence for the assessment and will receive information to assist in supporting their child’s development and learning. Finally, the KEA will produce a child profile of scores across the five domains. The KEA child profile data will be useful in the aggregate for principals, district and regional administrators, state policymakers, and advocates to inform programmatic decisions around curriculum, professional development, policy development, and resource allocation. In addition, the KEA will be the first assessment point within a K-3 formative assessment system that will inform instruction and learning, improving student achievement.