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Designing Strategic Assessment Systems

Designing Strategic Assessment Systems

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These featured resources will help school districts identify high quality assessments to produce the most effective and efficient information about students’ readiness for college and career with the least amount of testing. 

Education First Playbook: Better and Fewer Local Assessments: A Toolkit for Educators
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Ed First’s Playbook helps schools and districts streamline the district assessment strategy by providing guidance to accompany Achieve’s Student Assessment Inventory for School Districts. The playbook provides clear and detailed direction, lessons learned and shares plug-and-play or adaptable tools and materials.Districts should review their assessment systems to ensure assessments are purposefully aligned and utilized to support data inquiry and improve student outcomes. School districts can use Achieve’s assessment inventory along with Ed First’s Playbook to:

  • Understand and evaluate the quality of the assessments students are taking
  • Determine the minimum testing necessary to provide results that serve essential diagnostic, instructional and accountability purposes
  • Ensure the assessment results are used to support student learning

Tips for Successful Implementation

  • The assessment Inventory for Districts is a not a one-time event, rather an iterative process involving multiple stakeholders. The outcomes from the inventory including eliminated assessments, how the remaining assessments will be used and why they are important should be communicated with parents, the school board, and the community.
  • We encourage educators to leverage EdFirst’s Playbook as a more manageable entry point to the inventory process. If your team prefers to bypass the playbook, you can access the Assessment Inventory tool here: 

Assessment Visualizer

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The Assessment System Visualizer (ASV) created by WestEd is an online, interactive tool intended to build the capacity of individuals seeking to analyze the components of their state, district, school, and/or classroom assessment systems and make decisions about how to improve them.

Assessment Inventory Resource: Sample Assessment Inventory Questions & Sample Assessment Survey Questions

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The Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) provides suggested questions and data collections for states and/or districts to consider as they review their assessment systems. Taking stock of what is currently in place is the precursor to developing a coherent, aligned, and balanced/strategic assessment system.