The National Task Force on Assessment Education provides thought leadership and resources to foster a comprehensive understanding of assessment and its role in supporting student success. The Task Force convened to confront the very real challenge of the lack of assessment education for educators and to improve the national dialogue about the different uses of assessment and how to apply assessment data to support classroom learning.
In our Task Force Member Spotlight blog series, we next explore the background and thoughts from Bret Miles. Bret currently serves as the Executive Director for Northeast Colorado BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services), which is similar to Regional Service Areas in other states. Bret oversees pre-service for twelve school districts in his BOCES, ranging in enrollment size from 100 to 800 students. They are spread out over 4,500 square miles. All of his districts are in rural communities with agriculture as the main economic driver.
Why did you agree to join the Task Force?
I agreed to join the Task Force for several reasons. As for assessment literacy, I have a passion for finding ways to support our teachers. With all the pressures on teachers concerning assessment results, we have a moral obligation to make sure they have the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of the job.
My staff here at the BOCES, the superintendents and I are all very optimistic that we will be able to use the findings of the Task Force to improve our induction and alternative licensure programs. Our biggest challenge in rural Colorado is finding quality teachers. We often need to grow our own. Therefore, our BOCES induction program and our BOCES alternative licensure programs are critical to the success of our member school districts. We hope to use the findings of the Task Force to make improvements to our programs based on best practices from across the country and current research. There is no doubt that assessment literacy needs to be included in our programs.
Have you had success in improving assessment education for teachers, either Pre- or In-Service, in your work? If yes, please tell us a bit about the work and the results.
As superintendent, I have been fortunate to work in districts where we emphasized the use of our data, and subsequently needed to prepare teachers to use the data. I have been coordinating training on this in my schools. We have also conducted trainings on protocols to use assessment data for instructional decisions, but have often found that teachers do not have the basic understanding of assessment as background for the best use of the results. I am anxious to learn from others how they have worked to address these issues in their districts.
Come back soon for our next Task Force Member Spotlight.