Executive Summary

NTGS As An Opportunity for Deep Engagement: Risks and Mitigation

Developing tests that are comparable across all grades and subjects has proven to be a difficult task and has delayed full implementation in some states.  Questions include how to measure growth in areas such as the Arts and how to fairly assess growth of teachers of Special Education students and English Language Learners.


Examples of risks and potential mitigation steps:

Risk

 
A risk experienced by Tennessee and Delaware has been not preparing fair and comparable student assessments for all grades and subjects in time for the implementation date.  Mitigation
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State policymakers should develop a team and a process to design comparable assessments across all grades and subjects in the very beginning of the planning process with heavy emphasis on completing the project by the implementation date.

Risk
 

One of the most difficult aspects of evaluation reform is creating student assessments. The tests may need revisions and improvements in the first several years to ensure success.

Mitigation
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States should keep in place the team that designed the assessments to monitor progress, issues, and improve it after each evaluation cycle.

Risk
 
Stakeholders could spend months or years designing quality assessments for the NTGS areas – taking away time and resources from other crucial areas of evaluation reform. Mitigation
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An important step that a working group tasked with designing assessments is to examine what approaches have worked in other states. There is no need to "reinvent the wheel" when successful practices can be replicated.
 
 

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