Assessment Education Perspectives

Teachers and Education Leaders Join National Task Force on Assessment Education

Teachers and Education Leaders Join National Task Force on Assessment Education

At the first meeting of the Task Force on Assessment Education for Teachers, someone remarked, “Who will ever forget your first year of teaching?” Nearly everyone in the room smiled, nodded and then relayed a story about their first year of teaching. It was connected to the topic at hand – what do teachers know about assessment during their first year of teaching?

Once they start their careers in the classroom, teachers are expected not only to understand different types of assessments and how to use them, but also to interpret assessment data and how it can help move student learning forward. But assessment topics are not necessarily covered in depth during pre-service teacher training.

This gap between what teachers learn in pre-service education – and even in subsequent professional development courses – and what they need to know to use assessment effectively is the subject of a major initiative by NWEA. Part of that initiative is creating a national Task Force on Assessment Education for Teachers.

The 22 educators, assessment experts, and thought leaders that comprise the Task Force aim to advance the use of assessments to promote teaching and learning. The initiative also includes this website,, providing resources on assessments for education.

“This task force brings together considerable energy and passion on the topic of assessment education for teachers,” said Matt Chapman, President & CEO of NWEA. “In light of the recent federal guidance on assessment, it’s even more critical for teachers to have programs and resources that foster an understanding of how to use assessment to provide every student with an equitable K-12 education.”

The Task Force on Assessment Education for Teachers includes:

  • Chadwick Anderson, Principal, Scott Carpenter Middle School; Denver, CO;
  • Saroja Barnes, Director of Educator Preparation Initiatives, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO); Washington, DC;
  • John David Bowman, Teacher, Westwood High School and 2015 Arizona Teacher of the Year; Mesa, AZ;
  • Eddie Cuevas, Academic Director, Youth Policy Institute; Los Angeles, CA;
  • Amy Engelhard, Data Steward, North Dakota Educational Technology Council; Fargo, ND;
  • Dee Fabry, Co-Chair, Teacher Education Department, School of Education, National University; La Jolla, CA;
  • Amelia Wenk Gotwals, Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University; East Lansing, MI;
  • Kristin Hamilton, Senior Director of Standards, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; Arlington, VA;
  • Cara Jackson, Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation, Urban Teachers; Baltimore, MD;
  • Sarah McKenzie, Executive Director, Office for Education Policy, University of Arkansas; Fayetteville, AR;
  • Sarah McManus, Director of Digital Learning, Education Services for the Deaf and Blind, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; Raleigh, NC;
  • Keith Menk, Deputy Director, Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission; Salem, OR;
  • Bret Miles, Executive Director, Northeast Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES); Holyoke, CO;
  • Happy Miller, Executive Director of Research, Assessment, Data and Accountability, Rio Rancho School District; Rio Rancho, NM;
  • Missy Wall-Mitchell, Director of Accountability for School District Five, Lexington and Richland Counties; Irmo, SC;
  • Susan Bobbitt Nolen, Professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development, University of Washington; Seattle, WA;
  • Kim Walters-Parker, Reading Specialist, Woodford County High School; Versailles, KY;
  • Mark LaCelle-Peterson, Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE); Washington, DC;
  • Carlinda Purcell, Assistant to the Superintendent, Harrisburg School District; Harrisburg, PA;
  • Scott Reed, Teacher, Niles North High School; Skokie, IL;
  • Meredith Ross, Senior Manager of Student Assessment and Accountability, Charter Schools USA; Fort Lauderdale, FL;
  • Kathryn Dewsbury-White, President and CEO, Michigan Assessment Consortium; Lansing, MI.

Three advisors are also guiding the work of the Task Force: Dr. Rick Stiggins, founder and CEO of the Assessment Training Institute; Dr. Terri Akey, Co-Director, Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment at Education Northwest; and Bernice Stafford, most recently Vice President, Implementation and Education Partnerships at Evans Newton Incorporated and Board Chair at WestEd.

You can follow the developments of the assessment literacy initiative here on our blog, or stay in touch with us on Twitter.