Illinois educators gather to review and improve new assessment reporting tools  

ELGIN, ILLINOIS MARCH 10, 2023 — Two dozen math and English teachers from districts in and around the city participated in a workshop to improve how state assessment scores are reported to educators, parents and other stakeholders.

The workshop was part of New Meridian’s Enhanced Item Release Program, which goes beyond the common practice of releasing sample test questions and additionally “maps” those questions to how students in a state actually performed. The resulting reports provide examples of what students likely can and cannot answer correctly, which can help improve instructional planning and teacher-parent communication.

Elementary and middle school teachers from the U-46 School District in Elgin, as well as from districts in Rockford and Chicago, were on hand to examine the program’s enhanced assessment reporting and provide feedback.

“U-46 appreciates the opportunity to be a part of this effort,” said U-46 Interim Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Johnson. “Assessment plays a vital role in improving student learning, and parents are empowered and engaged when they better understand their child’s progress.”

The Enhanced Item Release Program is part of a broader New Meridian effort to enhance what is known as “assessment literacy,” the ability that parents, teachers and other stakeholders have to read and understand assessment results. Better understanding can help guide classroom instruction and resource allocation.

“We are thrilled to have worked directly with Illinois teachers to derive richer, more meaningful reporting from the Illinois Assessment of Readiness,” said Arthur VanderVeen, founder and CEO of New Meridian. “By releasing actual test items to illustrate what students can do at each score level, we can better help families, teachers, and students understand the results and support students’ learning and growth.”

The workshop, which was conducted for New Meridian by the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), took place January 30-31 at the U-46 Family Welcome Center in Elgin, Illinois.

To find out more about New Meridian’s Enhanced Item Release Program, please contact

To see New Meridian’s full suite of assessment literacy materials, please visit,

About New Meridian

New Meridian is a nonprofit assessment organization committed to advancing equity in education by developing assessments that focus on the skills that matter: critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. Since 2016, our diverse team of assessment design experts have collaborated with classroom teachers to develop high-quality assessments that give educators the information they need to ensure all students grow to be effective thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators. We partner with states and districts to develop innovative assessment solutions that provide educators and policy makers with the data and insights they need to improve educational outcomes and expand opportunities for all students.