Through-Year Curriculum-Connected Assessments

In Fall of 2021, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative seeded funding for EdFirst to work with assessment and curriculum vendors to engage in R&D to prove the concept of through year models producing comparable results to summative assessments, convene an advisory team of states to inform R&D efforts and focus on advancing the field around through-year assessments via thought leadership. If the grant program is successful, by June 2023, the project will have seeded multiple new assessment designs and test prototypes that can be available for assessment developers to subsequently develop into full-scale operational systems to take to market.

The Project has three ongoing work streams:

  1. Research and Design
    The team will invest in research and design with assessment vendors to develop prototypes for two through-year assessment models and solve technical issues and engage with People Proximate to the Problem (PPP) from partner states and from existing partnerships through the state advisory group. The goal is to make progress on prototypes to be tested starting Fall 2022 and throughout the 2022-2023 school year. We will, in partnership with assessment and curriculum vendors, collect and analyze data with a goal of achieving comparability to the end of year summative assessments in the prototyping states. We will also engage with and gather input from PPP to inform use cases and development needs for implementation.

    As of Summer 2022, there are at least 10 states considering or developing a through-year assessment model to meet the needs of their students, teachers and school systems. We have partnered with a group of these state leaders either through the advisory group or to engage in R&D.To meet this demand, we’ve invested in the following innovative assessment developers to lead the R&D efforts:
  2. State Engagement
    The Education First team has leveraged state interest and expertise through an advisory team of SEA leaders to solve challenges, advise on design, and build internal capacity for participation in prototyping. The state advisory group represents a diverse set of state representation including size, politics, demographics, and where they are in pursuing a through-year assessment strategy. The goal of this work is to deepen state engagement and build collaboration among state leaders for how innovative models, including through-year models could support improving their state systems for teaching and learning.
  3. Thought Leadership
    We will partner with technical experts, researchers and system leaders in the field to define the why, what and how for through year models with a goal of inspiring action and providing recommendations for design, implementation and policy. Beginning in Fall of 2022, EdFirst will publish products that speak to various audiences including state and district leaders, teachers, school leaders, assessment developers, and policy experts around through-year models. We will generate interest in new assessment designs, advocacy agendas and policy ideas through a series of roundtables, targeted briefings, and engagement opportunities with partner organizations.

Interested in getting involved, learning more or partnering with us as you think about through-year assessment models?  Innovate with us — click here to contact us for support.