Our Vision for the Future of Assessment
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink our systems of assessment so we can build a better tomorrow. Isn’t it time we connected assessment to the work being done by teachers in classrooms? Welcome through-year assessments.
Why Change Current Assessment Systems?
Every student is unique. A single classroom may contain students from all walks of life. Great teachers want to understand their students’ individual interests, strengths and learning styles and deliver a dynamic and engaging curriculum tailored to their students’ needs. Yet interim assessments too often provide low-quality testing that does not align with what is taught in the classroom, and summative assessments return data too late to provide instructional value. The result is a system that can provide false measures of student growth and fails to address current needs and support high-quality learning.
Revolutionizing Assessment: Two State Pilots Shaping the Future
In August 2023 Montana received an unprecedented waiver to create the Montana Alternative Student Testing (MAST), a pilot program building a single, coherent assessment system that yields rich, actionable data, meeting the needs of stakeholders throughout Montana's education system. Statewide use of the assessment will take place beginning July 2024, where the through-year assessment will replace the current system and be used for accountability requirements. Superintendent Elsie Arntzen expresses her enthusiasm, stating, "Montana schools will benefit greatly from assessments that truly reflect effective teaching and learning. This shift allows educators to prioritize classroom instruction, dedicating less time to assessment preparation. Montana is leading the charge in reimagining the outdated one-size-fits-all student assessments of the past."
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the Math Innovative Assessment Program is also transforming the education landscape by introducing a comprehensive assessment system that delivers robust and actionable data, addressing the needs of stakeholders throughout the state. During its initial pilot year, over 1,800 math students from seven school districts actively participated in the successful pilot administration, attesting to the program's effectiveness and potential. These two state pilots are paving the way for a future where assessments are tailored to individual needs, promoting effective teaching and learning, and empowering educators to deliver exceptional education in Montana and Louisiana.
We Test What's Taught
New Meridian’s MasteryGuide™ Assessment (MasteryGuide) administers a series of micro-assessments throughout the year, each of which is closely aligned to local curriculum and can be administered in a single class period. The result is a system that tests exactly what is taught, lowering testing time, minimizing student frustration and providing a coherent experience that is focused on learning.
Timely, High-Value Assessment
MasteryGuide offers teachers real-time feedback, allowing them to adjust classroom learning for every student. The result is a system that empowers teachers to accelerate learning, equipped with testing that is aligned to the curriculum they are teaching and that provides data exactly when they need it.
Comparable and Reliable Summative Score
MasteryGuide gives administrators and state officials the data they need to make critical decisions. Results can be aggregated to form a cumulative summative score that reflects skills demonstrated over the course of the year, providing information that can inform everything from resource allocation to the placement of additional supports.
An Equitable Approach
MasteryGuide is being designed with input from the community. The voices of students, parents, teachers, and administrators are being heard to ensure that the system is implemented in a way that reflects the school community being assessed. Through a tight alignment to the local curriculum and a rigorous review process, the system is being designed to be more likely to reflect the community being assessed and less likely to contain cultural or other biases often seen in many large-scale assessments.