Management of Multi-State Policy Response Collaboratives

edCount has participated in a number of multi-state projects in which state representatives and experts from relevant fields of research come together to discuss and develop effective policies, systems, and practices in response to federal mandates.


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edCount Leads a Four-Year Multi-State Enhanced Assessment Grant from the US Department of Education

Since April 2017, edCount has provided direct oversight, management and thought leadership to support the Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS) project, a multi-state collaborative funded through a four year (April 2017 to December 2020) Enhanced Assessment Grant from the US Department of Education. SCILLSS brings together a collaborative of three states—Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming—with a team of researchers and a panel of experts to strengthen the knowledge base among state and local educators for using principled-design approaches to design science assessments that generate meaningful and useful scores, and to establish a means for connecting statewide assessment results with classroom assessments and student work samples in a complementary system. Through this partnership, edCount has provided leadership and insight in the application of current research, theory, and best practice to establish a compilation of replicable and scalable processes and tools that state and local educators can use to clarify and strengthen the connection between statewide assessments, local assessments, and classroom instruction. For more information about the SCILLSS project, visit https://www.scillsspartners.org.

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 project led by five organizations and 24 states (18 core partner states and 6 Tier II states) to build an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. edCount led NCSC’s validity evaluation work group, one of four organizational pillars for the project’s activities.

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 National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) alternate assessment system and content in English language arts and mathematics to states/entities, on behalf of the MSAA group. The NCSC Alternate Assessment technology system and test content for students who have significant disabilities were developed by the NCSC consortium. 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.

Technical Assistance: Council of Chief State School Officers

Over the course of several years, edCount provided a variety of services to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Specifically, edCount has advised CCSSO leadership on assessment and accountability issues; provided technical and policy guidance for the service and advocacy functions of the organization; and coordinated CCSSO’s State Collaborative on Assessments and Student Standards for English Language Learners (ELL SCASS), growing its membership to 35 states. edCount provided support for the ELL SCASS’s focus on English language proficiency standards and assessments, academic content standards and assessments, accountability systems for knowledge and skill sets within both, strategies for technical assistance and professional development among state and local education agency staff, and liaison services among state education agencies and the U.S. Department of Education.

Specifically, edCount has advised CCSSO leadership on assessment and accountability issues; provided technical and policy guidance for the service and advocacy functions of the organization; and coordinated CCSSO’s State Collaborative on Assessments and Student Standards for English Language Learners (ELL SCASS), growing its membership to 35 states. edCount provided support for the ELL SCASS’s focus on English language proficiency standards and assessments, academic content standards and assessments, accountability systems for knowledge and skill sets within both, strategies for technical assistance and professional development among state and local education agency staff, and liaison services among state education agencies and the U.S. Department of Education.

GSEG grant for Alternate Assessment Validity Evaluation Project

edCount served as a validity evaluation partner for a three-year General Supervision Enhancement Grant (GSEG) in collaboration with five state education agencies (Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico). In their role, edCount identified and evaluated the validity arguments that guide the interpretation and use of scores for each entity’s alternate assessment. 

edCount also served as the validity evaluation partner to both Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia as part of the AA-AAS Validity Evaluation project, helping each state level partner develop an argument for the validity of the alternate assessment they administer to students with significant cognitive disabilities. edCount then worked with each partner to develop validity evaluation plans comprising three studies to test or evaluate claims within these arguments, and carried out studies for each partner according to this plan.

Evaluating the Validity of English Language Proficiency Assessments

The Evaluating the Validity of English Language Proficiency Assessments (EVEA) project brought together a consortium of five states – Washington, Oregon, Montana, Indiana, and Idaho – with a team of researchers and a panel of experts to develop a comprehensive framework for considering the meaning and utility of scores from English language proficiency assessments (ELPAs).

The resulting framework can be adapted by any state and used to assess the validity of a state’s ELPAs. This work culminated with the creation of a comprehensive website that provides tools and resources to states to evaluate the validity of their ELPAs. These resources include the theory of action, evaluation models, study designs and instruments, bibliographies, presentations, and white papers. For more information, visit the EVEA website.