ERIC Number: ED535164
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec-23
Reference Count: 0
Establishing a State Consortium for Assessment: A Discussion of Factors to Consider
DePascale, Charles A.
National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment
Unparalleled demands on state assessment programs and conditions associated with the availability of federal monies, particularly the $350 million portion of the $4 billion Race to the Top funds set aside for assessment, have led to a renewed interest in the establishment of state consortia for the development and administration of assessment programs. The motivation to establish state consortia may be driven by a combination of factors such as a) the desire for national, cross-state comparisons on a common assessment produced by a consortium of states, b) the belief that a consortium of states working together is more efficient and cost effective than individual states developing their own assessments, c) the belief that a consortium of states working together will produce higher quality assessments than any individual state working on its own, and d) the belief that a consortium of states working together increases the equity in assessment resources available across states. Similarly, there are a variety of purposes for which an assessment consortium might be established including a) developing common, general summative assessments to be administered across states, b) developing common components of a general, comprehensive assessment system, c) developing specific assessments to measure the knowledge and skills of particular subgroups of students (e.g., ELL or SWD), and d) conducting research and determining best practices in the design and use of various assessment models, item types, and alternative formats to create comprehensive assessment systems. Regardless of the motivation for establishing the consortium or the specific purpose for which the consortium is established, there are common factors that will impact the operation of any consortium that should be considered as it is being established. This document provides a framework that includes four major areas to consider when establishing a consortium: (1) Role of consortium members; (2) Governance of the consortium; (3) Management of the consortium; and (4) Structural organization of the consortium. Although these areas are interrelated, the issues encountered within each area are significant and distinct enough to warrant discussion within its own section. In part because there are no hard and fast rules regarding the organization of a state consortium, it is critical that any proposal to develop a consortium include consideration of how issues within each of these four areas will be addressed.
Descriptors: Student Evaluation, Program Effectiveness, Motivation, Best Practices, Consortia, Standardized Tests, State Standards, Testing Programs, Evaluation Methods, Cost Effectiveness, Cooperative Planning, Role, Governance
National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment. P.O. Box 351, Dover, NH 03821. Tel: 603-516-7900; Fax: 603-516-7910; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nciea.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc. (NCIEA)