How we reached student success with assessment proficiency

Key points:

  • Assessment creation can be uncomfortable, but it is also one of the most important steps in accelerating student learning
  • Teachers are the only professionals who can most effectively build these assessments for their students
  • See related article: 4 engaging assessment ideas for middle and high school
  • For more news on assessment, visit eSN’s Innovative Teaching page

Teachers use a variety of methods to assess mastery of a topic. We use observations, quick formative assessments, longer summative assessments, and long-term benchmark assessments. The problem is that these assessments come in a variety of ways, depending on where you teach.

Many districts utilize pre-built assessments from curricular resource companies. Others build assessments based on curricular resources and change every 4-6 years with their new resource adoption cycles. Some will create assessments based on their state-approved learning standards and work to adapt the curricular resources to their true “curriculum” and assessments.…Read More

Committee for Children Joins Forces with Aperture Education to Integrate Assessments and Curriculum to Build Social-Emotional Skills

Charlotte N.C. – Aperture Education, a Riverside Insights company and the leading provider of social-emotional skills assessment and intervention solutions, and Committee for Children, the leading provider of social-emotional curriculum programs in the U.S., announced today that they will partner to offer four co-developed assessments to support schools in demonstrating the impact of evidence-based social and emotional programs. 

Built from the Aperture DESSA suite, these assessments complement Committee for Children’s Second Step® programs, which are research-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula developed to nurture SEL in children’s daily lives, both in and outside of the classroom. By having integrated assessment and curriculum tools, educators can gain valuable insights from reliable, real-time data about instructional effectiveness and the impact of SEL curriculum on students.

“As schools introduce social-emotional learning into their curriculum, it’s imperative to show how these investments translate into improved outcomes for their students. Years of evidence show how Second Step improves critical life skills and mental wellbeing,” said Riverside Insights CEO Vivek Kartha. “We are proud to collaborate with the Committee for Children and contribute to improving student outcomes by aligning our gold standard DESSA assessments with their world-class curriculum.”…Read More

EdTech Leader Swivl Expands Its Toolset, Launching the Mirror

MENLO PARK, Calif. ( –  Swivl, a future-ready edtech company with a suite of reflective tools, announced today the addition of its newest tool, Mirror, an AI-enabled hardware and software platform that automates reflection and brings valuable metacognitive insights for educators. The Mirror aims to partner with teachers and help them develop the metacognition and even higher-order skills students need to thrive with AI.

Reflection holds untapped potential to revolutionize education and prepare students for life in an AI-driven world. Automated reflection can help solve the intrinsic motivation challenge by fostering goal alignment on both individual and communal levels, expediting learning processes, and establishing fresh assessment benchmarks. The time of exclusively grading based on results is behind us; assessing reflection is now crucial for advancing education.

In today’s classroom, there’s not enough time for students to accurately reflect and for teachers to obtain this data. According to a  study conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on average, American teachers only have three minutes per hour of instructional time to devote to activities that allow students to reflect on their learning. The Mirror makes it easier to apply reflection to more learning scenarios and will enable teachers to gather reflection insights quickly. …Read More

U.S. Education Secretary Appoints Baldwin Schools Superintendent to Board Overseeing the Nation’s Report Card  

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today appointed Baldwin Union Free School District Superintendent Shari Camhi to serve on the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the country’s only ongoing, nationally representative assessment of student achievement.  

The Governing Board is a nonpartisan body established by Congress in 1988 to oversee and set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. NAEP provides objective information on student performance in various subjects and reports on student achievement across the nation, in states, and in select large urban districts. 

The 26-member Governing Board is responsible for deciding which subjects NAEP assesses, determining assessment content, setting achievement levels that describe student performance, and pursuing new ways to make NAEP results useful and meaningful to the public.   …Read More

Big Deals—AI GUIDANCE for Schools Toolkit, Assessment PD for Teachers, and EV Buses Hit the Road.

This month, TeachAI, an initiative led by, ETS, the International Society of Technology in Education, Khan Academy, and the World Economic Forum, launched an AI Guidance for Schools toolkit to help education systems globally address gaps in AI guidance and policy. This resource was co-authored by, CoSN, Digital Promise, European EdTech Alliance, and PACE with input and review from policymakers, school leaders, teachers and leading tech organizations.

A recent global survey by UNESCO found that only seven percent of schools worldwide provided guidance on the proper use of AI in classrooms. The toolkit provides a framework for incorporating AI in education, real-world policy examples, sample guidance language, and resources aimed at staff, parents, and students.

“We offer the AI Guidance for Schools Toolkit in a spirit of humility and with the desire to help education leaders meet the urgent call for practical guidance on the safe, effective, and responsible use of AI,” said Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer at and lead of the TeachAI initiative. “By providing real-world examples and sample language, we hope education systems now have a place to start their discussions.” …Read More

New Program Gives High School Students Training and Job Placement in an Allied Healthcare Career

LIVONIA, Mich. –  After a comprehensive and successful two-year pilot with more than 900 students,  MedCerts has launched a training program for high school students to earn a nationally recognized credential in Allied Healthcare and Health IT careers. When the student successfully completes the online didactic training and has graduated, they are able to funnel directly into open jobs with partner employers or if they choose, take advantage of the  MedCerts Prior Learning Assessment Credit Transfer Ecosystem and gain college credit at a reputable college.

The new program combines online training and, if needed as part of the certification, a residential experience in a healthcare setting, guided by healthcare professionals that lead directly to jobs. These residential training experiences provide on-the-job experience, which can be supplied through MedCerts employer partners or through the school’s existing partners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most allied healthcare jobs are in high demand.  The projected growth change in employment for Medical Assistants from 2022 to 2032 is projected at 14 percent, which is well above the average growth rate.

“MedCerts in partnerships with schools and local healthcare employers is building an early talent pipeline directly from high school into well-paying, entry-level healthcare jobs,” said Jen Kolb, National Director of Workforce Development at MedCerts, “Students in high school can get their training and clinical experience completed in their senior year so that they graduate from high school and can go immediately into a skilled career.”…Read More

How efficacy studies improve literacy instruction

Key points:

Prior to the pandemic, reading achievement had been showing little to no growth in the National Assessment of Educational Progress data. Scores have continued to decline, in part because of pandemic-related learning interruptions. In short, it has never been more critical to understand how to support students on the path to reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade.

Applying research to practice is at the core of instruction based in the science of reading. The science can and should guide curriculum design. Efficacy research is a proven method of  evaluating instructional delivery decisions so teachers, parents, administrators, and students understand what practices and resources connect directly with gains in literacy achievement.…Read More

Riverside Insights Debuts Portal to Support Strengths-based, Differentiated Learning that Helps All Students Thrive

ITASCA, Ill. – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today introduced, a new microsite to support Riverside’s CogAT® in the Classroom initiative. This online portal provides resources to transform Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT) assessment data into tailored classroom instruction that enables all students to thrive. Designed for teachers, administrators and parents,’s tools support a positive learning environment by encouraging differentiated learning through a strengths-based lens.

“Data collected as part of the CogAT is extremely powerful, yet most school districts are not optimizing its use to better understand how all students learn, then applying that in the classroom,” said Dr. Joni Lakin, professor at the University of Alabama and co-author of the CogAT.  “Riverside’s CogAT in the Classroom initiative is making it easier than ever to use CogAT data effectively in the classroom to maximize student growth. On, we provide the tools that teachers, administrators and parents need to better understand the abilities of each student coupled with actionable strategies that will benefit every learner in the classroom.”

Using CogAT ability data and CogAT in the Classroom resources, educators can evaluate student potential using both abilities and achievement data and differentiate instruction based on students’ cognitive reasoning strengths. Infusing ability data into the classroom environment helps teachers build a holistic understanding of each student’s potential and create tailored classroom instruction to provide more opportunities for all students to excel.…Read More

Use tech to reassess assessment

With 25+ years of practice and research behind him, Joe Feldman—a former teacher, principal and district administrator—speaks from experience when it comes to the ongoing inequities and challenges that districts and schools have with grading. In this conversation with eSchool News, Feldman, author of the recently updated Grading for Equity, discusses the importance of equity in education, particularly in the context of grading practices. He emphasizes how the COVID-19 pandemic and events like the George Floyd protests highlighted the need to address these inequities, explains the flaws in traditional grading practices, and advocates for the need for change. He also explores how technology can aid in more accurate, unbiased, and motivational assessment methods. Have a listen and scroll down for some other takeaways, and an excerpt from his book:

➔Traditional grading practices have flaws, including inaccuracies, biases, and demotivation, and the pandemic has exposed these shortcomings, prompting educators to reevaluate their grading methods.

➔Technology can offer benefits in assessment by providing support for generating questions and allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge in various ways. It can help reduce the limitations of traditional assessments.…Read More

5 ways to help students struggling with algebra due to learning loss

Key points:

Since the pandemic, students have struggled markedly in math, particularly algebra. According to NAEP Mathematics Assessment data, eighth-graders’ algebra scores were eight points lower in 2022 than in 2019. According to the Nation’s Report Card, the average eighth-grade mathematics score was lower than all previous assessment years—going back to 2003.

As a gateway content area, algebra prepares students to tackle advanced study in calculus, physics, and other subjects—yet it often is a sticking point for many middle and high school students. Without a solid understanding of algebra, many students find that they get stuck in their math studies.…Read More