Title I Pilot Program on Innovative Student Assessment Systems to Be Examined for Progress and Lessons Learned

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) enacted a pilot program designed to spur innovation and increase flexibility in student assessment systems by waiving selected federal requirements for participating states. Under the pilot, states can test out new ways to measure student learning with the intent of scaling up the new assessment for statewide use. To see if states are testing out high-quality assessments and developing the capacity and commitment of educators and other stakeholders for the new tests, the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, has selected Westat and its partners to examine the pilot implementation. This 4-year contract is valued at $3.6 million.

The evaluation will provide lessons learned to states on designing and scaling up these systems, and to policymakers on using flexibility to encourage local experimentation while maintaining the goal of an equal education for all students.

“We look forward to the opportunity to work with the Institute of Education Sciences to evaluate the Title I Innovative Assessments Pilot,” notes Babette Gutmann, Vice President and Practice Director, Education Studies. “The findings from this evaluation have the potential to inform more innovative approaches to student assessments and provide insight into federal policy efforts to give states and school districts more flexibility.” 

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