New Meridian is proud to participate in the National Conference on Student Assessment sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) next week.

More than 1,000 educators, administrators, assessment experts and state officials will gather in Orlando for a three-day conference June 24 to 26. This year’s theme is, “Measure What Matters, and Create Accountability for Equity.” Participants will share innovations, research, resources and strategies to improve state assessment across 90 individual sessions.

“Conferences like this are vital to our industry,” said New Meridian CEO Arthur VanderVeen. “They allow us to share information, learn from the best and get a first-hand look at the innovation taking place. I always leave the conference feeling energized.”

VanderVeen will moderate a June 25 panel at 11 a.m. titled, “Communicating about Growth at the District Level Using Median Growth Percentiles.” The session focuses on how student growth percentiles, aggregated to the district-level, can be used to support district and state decision makers.

The panel features A. Rae Clementz, director of assessment and accountability for the Illinois State Board of Education, as well as Nathan Dadey and Damian Betebenner of the Center for Assessment.

New Meridian Chief Assessment Officer Tracy Gardner, who has more than 20 years of experience in measurement, assessment design and development, and psychometrics, will also moderate a panel.

“Implementing Pre-Equating to Allow for Faster Score Reporting to Support Assessment Utility for Educators” will take place at 4 p.m. June 24. It will explore the merits of taking a “pre-equating” approach, in which scoring tables are created prior to operational administration of an assessment, versus a “post-equated” approach, in which scoring tables are produced after operational testing.

The panel will feature Clementz, the director of assessment and accountability from Illinois, and Art Thacker, principal staff scientist at HumRRO (the Human Resources Research Organization).

The session will explain the results of a study that compared post-equated item parameters and student scores with pre-equated results for the same students and test items on the ELA assessment. Panelists will also discuss strategies for assessment literacy and the educational and political climates in their states that led to policy decisions to reduce the time between testing and score reporting.

“The conference is a wonderful opportunity to share information, collaborate and learn,” Gardner said. “We are excited to be there.”