Is the education system working?

PISA, the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. Its league table of results suggests which of the 90 participating countries have been able to improve their education system and student performance.

But when we look back at people throughout history who have made a significant impact on society, it’s not their school reading, math, or science test results that measure their success.

One well known winner of the Nobel Prize for physics was told by his teacher at school that he would ‘never amount to anything.’ For Albert Einstein, it was his fascination with the invisible forces that deflected a compass needle and a book on science that ignited his lifelong fascination with the world around him. But how do we strike a balance between the core curriculum and the invaluable importance of developing a child’s hard and soft skills, their curiosity, and their creativity?…Read More

CenterPoint’s Illustrative Mathematics Certified and EL Education Aligned Assessments Now Integrated with Kiddom’s High-Quality Digital Curriculum to Support Learning and Instruction

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  CenterPoint Education Solutions, a nonprofit provider of assessment solutions, curriculum services, and professional learning designed to help schools and districts build aligned education systems, today announced that their Illustrative Math (IM) certified and EL Education aligned interim assessments will be available for the 2022-2023 school year on  Kiddom, the first all-in-one education platform for high-quality digital curriculum. The partnership will provide educators and students with instant access to high-quality assessments aligned to the curriculum already being used in their classrooms.

“CenterPoint welcomes this opportunity to expand student and teacher access to our one-of-a-kind assessments,” said LJ Sylvester, Vice President of Growth at CenterPoint. “Aligned assessments allow educators to gauge both student understandings and misunderstandings — paramount information to guide instructional planning. Kiddom supports aligned instructional models by connecting curriculum, instruction, and assessment onto one platform, which fits nicely with CenterPoint’s larger mission of building aligned education systems.”   

Interim assessments are administered throughout a school year and are key to supporting learning. They empower educators to measure student learning, identify where students are on their path to grade level expectations and provide data to drive instructional strategy. With Kiddom now hosting CenterPoint’s IM certified and EL Education interim assessments, students and educators are provided with expanded access to high-quality curriculum-aligned assessments that align with Kiddom’s digitized curriculum. Via Kiddom’s platform, CenterPoint’s assessments will make use of the existing assessment functionality in Kiddom, including technology-enhanced question types to heighten student engagement and real-time standards-aligned data reporting for teachers to inform instructional strategy. Additional benefits include:…Read More

Why we need formative assessment

Formative assessment, while not a new concept by any means, has been receiving a lot of attention recently due to discussions regarding student learning loss and the need for more digitized solutions for remote learners.

There’s been discussion in recent years about what formative assessment truly is. According to the Council of Chief State School Officers, formative assessment is the “planned, ongoing process used by all students and teachers during learning and teaching to elicit and use evidence of student learning to improve student understanding of intended disciplinary learning outcomes and support students to become self-directed learners.”

Ultimately, in the classroom, a teacher’s instructional action that is framed by a learning objective, skill, concept, or standard that invites students to demonstrate progress or mastery toward that established goal is considered formative assessment. This invites the notion that countless teacher and student interactions can be designated as an assessment tool. But what actually makes formative assessment one of the most important tools in an educator’s instructional practice?…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Assessment Named to the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Approved List of Dyslexia Screeners

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., April 3, 2022—The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) recently named Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment to its approved list of dyslexia screeners. With this approval, districts throughout the state can now use the program’s online Diagnostic and offline literacy assessment tasks to screen kindergarten and first grade students for risk factors associated with dyslexia. Today, the award-winning i-Ready program serves more than 10 million students and 25 percent of all students in Grades K–8 in the United States.

“The recent MDE approval will help streamline the overall assessment process for Mississippi educators as they can now use i-Ready for both universal screening and targeted dyslexia screening,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “By eliminating the need for multiple and redundant assessments, educators will have more time to deliver personalized instruction, and specialized supports as needed, to help all students succeed.”

According to the MDE, each local school district is required to screen students for dyslexia using an instrument approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) in the spring of kindergarten and the fall of first grade. A panel of reading, dyslexia therapy, and speech-language pathology experts conduct a comprehensive review of all proposed instruments to determine which ones are included on the MDE Approved List of Dyslexia Screeners.…Read More

State of Utah Approves Funding for Continued Use of YouScience Discovery Statewide

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, March 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  YouScience, the only provider of a fully-integrated platform for aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications, today announced that the Utah State Legislature has approved funding for the continued use of  YouScience Discovery through the 20222023 school year. As part of Utah’s  Student Credential Account and Aptitude Assessment, nearly 300,000 middle and high school students as well as teachers, counselors, and administrators will have access to  YouScience Discovery in addition to  Precision Exams by YouScience.

“College and career success starts with a student understanding their aptitude at an early age. This information can help eliminate biases and remove career exposure gaps impacting the trajectory of students today,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO, YouScience. “We would like to thank the State of Utah for recognizing the importance of YouScience Discovery along with Precision Exams by YouScience. We are honored to continue our work together during the next school year to empower students throughout their academic journey.”

YouScience Discovery has been in use across Utah since the beginning of the 2021–2022 school year, and has already helped more than 35,000 middle and high school students better understand their own talents and identify future opportunities. The aptitude assessment, which is built on learnings from 50-plus years of scientific research, helps students identify where they have a natural talent, and matches these talents with in-demand careers and educational pathways. As a result, students are more aware of their natural strengths and the opportunities they may afford.…Read More

How the COVID crisis caused K-12 to rethink testing

The pandemic reignited the debate over shifting away from high-stakes testing to a more balanced assessment approach that’s part of the regular instructional cycle. Many parents and education leaders alike hoped this would be the catalyst for ending high-stakes testing entirely, or at least shift the focus toward assessments that drive better supports for students. And while some progress has been made, new research suggests we’re at a pivotal moment for changing K-12 assessment.

In the spring of 2020, school closures forced the cancellation of state summative assessments in all 50 states for the first time since the No Child Left Behind era began in 2002. States did without the data used for high-stakes decisions such as A-F grading of individual schools, and educators were left to look to other methods to evaluate learning. 

Since then, there have been nearly unanimous calls to create assessments that provide teachers with real-time information to help guide and direct student learning. Now in the third year impacted by the pandemic as the effects of COVID-19 continue, measuring and addressing student learning is even more critical amidst the frequent disruptions. Nonetheless, schools around the country are once again preparing to head into another round of spring standardized testing.…Read More

Carnegie Learning Appoints Lenovo Executive as New Chief Marketing Officer

PITTSBURGH–( BUSINESS WIRE)–Carnegie Learning, a leader in artificial intelligence for K-12 education and formative assessment, today announced Quinn O’Brien as Chief Marketing Officer. The addition of O’Brien to its executive leadership positions Carnegie Learning to continue driving its mission of shaping the future of learning by delivering groundbreaking solutions to education’s toughest challenges.

Prior to joining Carnegie Learning, O’Brien transformed the Lenovo brand from a device leader to a global solutions leader as VP of Global Marketing at the $70B parent company of ThinkPad, Motorola, YOGA, Legion, and a range of other brands. O’Brien also brings a wealth of experience from spending 12 years as a leader at Ogilvy & Mather, the storied advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, as well as starting up Craft Worldwide, a design and production agency that today is a thriving business with 1,000+ employees in 120 markets. O’Brien has been recognized as a Top 100 Marketer Award Winner by the OnCon Icon Awards for three consecutive years.

In his new role, O’Brien will apply his extensive experience in global technology marketing to the K-12 education space, bringing a fresh perspective and leading-edge ideas to Carnegie Learning. With a proven track record in innovation and expansion on a global scale, O’Brien is poised to expand the reach and impact of Carnegie Learning’s K-12 math, literacy, world languages, computer science, and professional learning offerings on educators and students at an urgent moment in education.…Read More

Latest Research from Curriculum Associates Highlights Importance of Grade-Level Readiness for Student Growth

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass.,March 17, 2022—Whether students are prepared for grade-level learning matters more to their progress over the course of the pandemic than whether they were remote or in school, according to a new report released by Curriculum Associates. The report, Student Growth during COVID-19: Grade-Level Readiness Matters, analyzes data gathered from the edtech company’s i-Ready Assessment tool for reading and mathematics from more than two million Grades 1–8 students who used i-Ready Diagnostics during the last three school years, using student testing location (i.e., in school or remote) as a proxy for learning location.

The report provides new insights on student learning trends, and serves as a call to other education researchers to look at similar factors. Curriculum Associates’ data follows the same students, examining how they progressed over time from the 2019–2020 school year before the pandemic hit through the 2020–2021 school year. This report offers a unique understanding of how the pandemic impacted students as, unlike most research published on unfinished learning, it followed the same students across two years, incorporating their reported testing location during the pandemic.

“After several reports exploring the extent of unfinished learning, we find that remote versus in school alone did not matter much in impacting student scores,” said Dr. Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates. “Though there were slight differences in student growth based on location, what mattered most was where students started in the first place—that is, whether they were already behind or prepared for grade-level work at the beginning of the school year.”…Read More

Savvas Delivers New Summer Solutions for Math and Literacy to Move Learning Forward

PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY — March 16, 2022 — Savvas Learning Company, a K-12 next-generation learning solutions leader, launched today several new summer learning solutions to support school districts in addressing unfinished learning in math and literacy. The curated, easy-to-implement instructional materials, combined with state-of-the-art screener and diagnostic assessment tools, are designed to help move learning forward for all students.

“Teachers have been working hard to get students back on track academically after three school years of disrupted education. For many students, these efforts will need to extend beyond the end of this school year,” said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. “This summer will be a critical time to reenergize learning, and school districts are looking for evidence-based learning materials that are easy to use. That is why Savvas has taken the lead in developing flexible, high-quality math and reading programs designed to maximize valuable teaching time for summer learning.”

Ready-to-teach curriculum will be especially important this summer to help districts address expected teacher-staffing issues, which, according to a recent nationwide Savvas poll of 500 educators, are among the five greatest needs for summer learning programs. In addition to teacher staffing being a concern, the poll identified the following resources that educators need to make summer learning more effective: reading/English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics curricula, along with access to online materials and lessons, and remediation programs to close learning gaps. …Read More

Emergent Bilingual Students Using Lexia English Scored Higher than Their Peers on California’s English Language Proficiency Assessment

BOSTON (March 9, 2022) – A 2020 report from the U.S. Department of Education stated that the number of Emergent Bilinguals – also known as English language learners – in U.S. public schools has increased by more than a million since 2000. A recent study on the Lexia® English Language Development (Lexia English) program found that emergent bilingual students who used the program scored an average of 15 points higher than nonusers on the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) test.

The study focused on 2,034 emergent bilingual K-5 students across 21 schools in a mid-sized northern California district. During the 2020-21 school year, the district used Lexia English as part of a hybrid or remote instruction, primarily in English Learner (EL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) instructional periods.  Across all student groups, Lexia English users scored higher than non-Lexia English users. Compared to non-Lexia English users, Lexia English users scored higher regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity, eligibility for free-or-reduced price lunch, or language spoken at home.

All emergent bilingual students using Lexia English benefited from its culturally relevant pedagogy as well as its support of English language development through academic conversations. By focusing on the assets that each student brings to the classroom and having already mastered one language, they are able to build new language skills in a timely manner. In addition to their overall score being 15 points higher, on average, than peers who did not use the program, Lexia English users scored an average of 18 points higher on the ELPAC’s oral domain than nonusers. These results are consistent with Lexia English’s emphasis on speaking and supporting students’ English language development through academic conversations.…Read More