In advance of EdSource’s October 6, 2016 symposium, “California’s New Vision for School Success,” EdSource asked Ray Pecheone a few key questions of interest to symposium participants.

Pecheone is the executive director of the  Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) and an expert in testing.

Ray Pecheone

EdSource: Do you believe the Smarter Balanced assessments have had or will have any impact on improving classroom instruction?

Ray: Smarter Balanced has opened up the assessment process by focusing on meaningful content standards and represents new formats for assessing student learning (e.g., adaptive testing, performance assessment, AI scoring).  Smarter Balanced assessment is a key metric in supporting innovation as states begin to transform their large scale assessment system in response to the ESSA legislation.

EdSource: Will standardized tests be an anachronism in 10 years?   

Ray: No, having a common reliable and valid assessment of learning to monitor student growth, promote and ensure equitable outcomes for ALL students is a key metric to support district and state accountability and will continue to be a policy need at all levels of the system. Nevertheless, I expect that tests will look very different taking advantage of innovations in technology including more innovative item types such as simulations, technology enhanced items, gaming and inquiry based scenarios, curriculum embedded assessments as well as advances in AI scoring and reporting.

EdSource: Can you give us an example of what the next generation of assessments might look like?

My best example to date is engaging schools and districts in the development of reliable and valid curriculum embedded assessments that integrates curriculum, instruction and assessment within a learning segments and/or units of study. Specifically, these assessments are locally developed and customized to the school and community context focusing on a growth mindset that includes both formative and summative assessment components, instructional strategies and learning resources. These curriculum embedded assessments can be rolled up and become a key metric in the state accountability system (e.g., New Hampshire Competency Based accountability system).


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