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edCount Completes Multi-Year Project with the Regional Education Laboratory Mid-Atlantic (REL-MA)

edCount recently completed a multi-year project (2012-2016) in collaboration with the REL Mid-Atlantic to host the Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series and the Ask an Expert Webinar Series. The REL-MA is one of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) across the United States that are supported by the U.S. Department of Education and work in partnership with states, school districts, and other relevant stakeholders to support the use of evidence in improving academic outcomes for students. The REL-MA serves Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. The Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series was designed to provide participants the opportunity to acquire knowledge about various aspects of educator effectiveness in a way that would allow them to apply this knowledge to support instruction, leadership, and improved student outcomes. edCount collaborated with respected and well-known experts to prepare and conduct 40 interactive and engaging webinars that reached a diverse audience of educators (state, local, and university), researchers, policymakers, parents, and community members. The recorded REL-MA webinars can be found on the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) YouTube channel. A sample of the more popular webinars on the IES channel can be viewed here, here, and here.

edCount also assisted in responding to questions that came in from educators through the Ask A REL collaborative reference desk service which provides references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research-based education questions. edCount prepared responses to questions regarding a variety of topics including English Learners, student engagement strategies, teacher mentoring, and guided reading strategies. edCount also led REL-MA’s efforts to address data management needs of state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and research organizations in the region. Included in this work was the facilitation of roundtable workshops for SEA representatives to share their needs, concerns, and experiences to streamline data requests and facilitate better access to high quality data that supports research efforts.

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edCount Completes Validity and Process Evaluation for Development of National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) Alternate Assessment System

The National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) was a multi-state, multi-organizational consortium that was awarded a General Supervision Enhancement Grant (GSEG) in late 2010 by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education. The result of this grant project was an alternate assessment system and related content that assesses the English language arts and mathematics achievement of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the University of Minnesota led the partnership that included 24 states and four organizational partners. edCount, as one of the organizational partners, led the validity and process evaluation for the project and provided direct oversight to the external evaluation for the project. edCount’s activities included establishing a Theory of Action and Interpretative Argument to guide the project, developing and implementing studies to provide formative feedback for curriculum and instruction, professional development, and assessment development, as well as contributing to the overall validity evaluation of the system, and providing overall project management for the project.

Once the development project ended, the state partners who agreed to move forward with using the NCSC system renamed the ongoing collaborative the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA), with the Arizona Department of Education as lead state. States that have not joined MSAA may acquire license agreements through edCount for the use of assessment components. All other curriculum, instruction, and professional development resources associated with the project are publicly available on the NCSC Wiki (here) and the NCSC Website (here). 

edCount is the partner organization that provides licensing options for use of the NCSC alternate assessment system and content in English language arts and mathematics to states/entities, on behalf of the MSAA group. Several licensing options are available for entities who want to make use of the NCSC system and/or test content. To protect the NCSC Intellectual Property, entities requesting use of the NCSC system, the system code, and/or test content or to view the system, code, and/or test content, must follow appropriate licensing procedures.

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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.