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edCount Joins Alpine Testing Solutions in Independent Verification of the Psychometric Validity of Florida's Assessment

On June 23, 2015, Alpine Testing Solutions announced its partnership with edCount to conduct an independent verification of the validity of the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) in mathematics and English language arts for grades 3 through high school. The project will include a series of evaluation studies required for scores to be used to evaluate student and teacher performance. Alpine Testing Solutions will focus its review on the testing administrative processes and overall effects of the test administration on student motivation and score confidence. edCount will conduct studies of how well Florida's assessment content aligns with Florida's academic standards and contribute to a summary report of commendations and recommendations.

edCount looks forward to working on such an important project and providing objective, constructive feedback on Florida's assessment programs. A committee in Florida selected the two companies in May 2015 with a project end date of September 1, 2015.

Clicke here to learn more about the partnership with Alpine Testing Solutions.


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edCount Selected to Write K-2 ELA Curriculum for the Rapid Prototype Phase of the K-12 OER Collaborative

In a press release dated April 16, 2015, The Learning Accelerator, an education non-profit focusing on implementing blended learning, announced edCount as one of ten curriculum developers selected to create rapid prototype units for the K-12 OER Collaborative. The K-12 OER Collaborative is an initiative led by 12 states and numerous nonprofit organizations aimed at creating free, high-quality open educational resources for K-12 English language arts and mathematics. The Collaborative selected edCount to develop a prototype unit for the ELA K-2 curriculum.

To complete this work, edCount has partnered with educational technology firms Educational Systemics and Clarity Innovations. This team will work closely to develop a rigorous, Common Core State Standards-aligned, blended learning curriculum, which will include a bank of differentiated and interactive activities aimed at meeting the diverse needs of all learners. The resources created under the K-12 OER Collaborative will be available for anyone to freely and legally use, adapt, and redistribute.

edCount is thrilled to take part in this important work, which will provide teachers with dynamic and easily-modifiable resources to help customize instruction to meet the needs of all students. edCount brings expertise in curriculum development, standards implementation, assessment alignment, and differentiated instruction to this project.

To read The Learning Accelerator press release click here. For more information about the K-12 OER Collaborative, click here.

K-12 OER Collaborative

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edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic Present the 2015 Educator Effectiveness Series

On May 7, 2015, edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic will collaborate with Jonathan Cohen, President of the National School Climate Center, to present Assessing School Climate. This webinar will be the first of eight webinars in the 2015 Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series, which was designed to give participants the opportunity to acquire knowledge about different aspects of educator effectiveness in a way that will allow them to apply this knowledge to support instruction, leadership, and improved student outcomes.

In Assessing School Climate, Jonathan Cohen will discuss the different elements of a positive school climate, share methods for assessing school climate, and give examples of how to respond to school climate data. Dr. Cohen will also provide recommendations for education leaders and policy makers seeking to support school improvement efforts.

For more information about the 2015 Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series, click here. To register for the May 7 webinar presented by Jonathan Cohen, click here.

Assessing School Climate

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edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic Present Teacher Effectiveness and Ask an Expert Series

On November 13, 2014, edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic collaborated with Jim Popham to present the webinar Using Instructionally Sensitive Assessments to Measure Teacher Effectiveness. This webinar was the 8th and final webinar of the Teacher Effectiveness Webinar Series, which was organized and supported by edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic throughout 2014. This series was designed to increase participants’ understanding of issues surrounding teacher effectiveness in a way that will enable them to share, apply, or implement their increased knowledge in their classroom, school, or district. Other presenters featured in the series included Margaret Heritage, Eric Hanushek, and Jim Knight. For more information about the series and to download recordings of the 2014 webinars, click here.

Throughout 2014, edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic also spearheaded the Ask an Expert online chat series, which provided stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region opportunities to converse with experts and colleagues on topics within the field of teacher effectiveness. For more information about the Ask an Expert series and to download recordings of past chats, click here.

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Paper Authored by Elizabeth Towles-Reeves and other edCount Staff Accepted for Publication in Exceptional Children

In July 2014, Exceptional Children accepted the paper “Where students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are taught: Implications for general curriculum access” for publication. This paper, coauthored by Elizabeth Towles-Reeves from edCount, Harold Kleinert from the University of Kentucky, and Rachel Quenemoen and Martha Thurlow from the University of Minnesota, reported on a survey of 15 states about placements of 39,837 students to examine the extent to which students who took the AA-AAS in the 2010-11 school year had access to regular education settings, and the extent to which that access correlated with expressive communication, use of an augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) system, and reading and math skill levels. The vast majority (93%) of students were served in self-contained classrooms, separate schools, or home settings, while only 7% were served in regular education or resource room placements. Researchers found a significant, positive correlation between expressive communication, reading and math skill levels, and increasingly inclusive classroom settings; and a significant, negative correlation between use of AAC and more inclusive settings, indicating those students using AAC had less access to inclusive settings.

This paper developed out of relationships formed in the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), a project led by five centers and 24 states to build an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. To read the paper in its entirety, click here. To learn more about the work NCSC is doing to ensure students with the most significant cognitive disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for post-secondary options, click here.

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edCount and REL Mid-Atlantic present Longitudinal Data Use Research Alliance

In February 2014, edCount joined forces with ICF and DataSmith Solutions through the Regional Educational Laboratories Mid-Atlantic to launch the Longitudinal Data Use Research Alliance (LDURA). LDURA consists of representatives from state and local education agencies in the mid-Atlantic states and other stakeholders who have a significant interest in data use. edCount guides the alliance in maximizing the use of longitudinal data in the region by facilitating collaboration among participants to review, discuss, implement, and disseminate innovative uses for longitudinal data at the state and local level. edCount and LDURA use research and applied analytics to discover useful performance indicators and trends that improve common practices, programs, or behaviors that affect student achievement.

LDURA follows edCount’s 2013 REL-MA Data Governance Workshop Series, solidifying edCount’s status as a trusted leader in longitudinal data use.

For more information on how edCount and LDURA are building data capacity across the mid-Atlantic region, visit the LDURA website by clicking here.