Proposed Strategy

  • As a strategy for moving forward with the use of multiple assessments to gauge profound learning, the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium districts recommend consideration of short- and long-term strategies.

    Short-term Solutions

    • Test readiness standards only*

    • Include more test items per standard

    Long-term Solutions

    • Develop/prioritize/coalesce high-quality, fewer, deeper learning standards designed in accord with future-ready learning, college/career readiness, and expectations of the global workplace.

    • Establish assessment expectations that rely less on multiple-choice items and more on rigorous, performance tasks.

    • Reduce the number of tested grade levels and/or standards.

    • Allow for stratified random sampling of students to accommodate the complexity and cost of administering and scoring performance tasks.

    • Strengthen training for teachers and staff in best practices associated with building collections of evidence of student learning. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of rubrics, progress portfolios, display portfolios, journals, observation records, and other such methods of learning.

    • Work with the Texas Education Agency to establish definitions and standards for collections of evidence of student learning.

    • Establish how student work, local assessments, and diagnostic tests are used to identify students in need of additional support.

    • Work with TEA and the State Board of Education to develop high-priority learning standards and determine (by grade, subject) which collections of evidence of learning are to be maintained.

    • High-priority learning standards and new assessment designs could build the foundation for a new vision of accountability in Texas that aligns with the research on future-ready learning in today’s context and reflects a more balanced local and state partnership, as described in Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas.

    • High-quality formative assessments are necessary at the classroom and campus level and are our missing component for a balanced assessment system. Policy-makers should ensure resources are available and should provide support for high-quality training in formative assessment.

    *Cannot be applied as a long-term strategy due to the progressive, interconnected nature of PK-12 learning standards

Consortium Makes Recommendations on Assessment and Accountability