Projects 2017 – 2018

Support for Implementing College- and Career-Ready Standards and Assessments

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) is supporting state education agencies (SEAs) to strengthen their plans for implementing college- and career-ready standards (CCRS) and assessments. Support includes access to research-based resources, emerging promising practices, and educational events (which are featured in a bimonthly newsletter). The SECC also provides technical assistance to help states refine Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation plans and resources that may address needs or concerns related to assessment and accountability. In addition, SECC supports cross-state collaboration and peer learning through a regional community of practice (CoP) composed of SEA assessment and accountability staff. The CoP hosts virtual bimonthly meetings for network members to discuss selected topics of interest and concern.

Technical Assistance Approach
  • Professional Learning
  • Relationship Brokering and Facilitation
  • Evidence-Based ESSA resources
  • Assessment and ESSA support system for Southeastern states
Impact
  • Improved knowledge and skills
  • Improved organizational structures and processes
  • Increased capacity for implementation and improvement of an effective state-wide assessment and accountability system

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2018 | September

The SECC team processed session archive materials for distribution to state education agency (SEA) participants and finalized Year 6 activities. Feedback from SEA staff attendees of the August 21 AAN community of practice session showed that 100% answered positively (“Strongly Agree” or “Agree”) to survey statements/assertions.

States will be planning for the 2018–2019 school year, which may limit participation in planned SECC events. There also could be unanticipated changes in SEA leadership or staff.

 

Previous Updates:

The SECC team processed session archive materials for distribution to state education agency (SEA) participants and finalized Year 6 activities. Feedback from SEA staff attendees of the August 21 AAN community of practice session showed that 100% answered positively (“Strongly Agree” or “Agree”) to survey statements/assertions.

States will be planning for the 2018–2019 school year, which may limit participation in planned SECC events. There also could be unanticipated changes in SEA leadership or staff.

The distribution list was reviewed and updated for changes in membership. The newsletter went through additional quality assurance (QA) review. The distribution process was completed and dissemination completed in August 2018. The SECC team finalized the research and development of all materials and resources for the August 21 conversation. Materials were submitted for QA review and approved. The SECC team held a walk-through prior to the event to ensure familiarity with roles, technology, etc. State education agency (SEA) staff were sent a reminder prior to the event.

In September, session materials and the recording of the session will be processed for distribution to SEA participants. Feedback from SEA staff for the next assessment and accountability conversation will be solicited and analyzed to determine the topic, time, and date. Team meetings will be held to plan for future editions of the college- and career-readiness and assessment (CCRS-A) e-newsletter. As evidence to measure impact, SEA staff were surveyed for feedback regarding the August 21 assessment and accountability session. The data is currently being analyzed.

The SECC team completed development of annotations for the selected resources in addition to completion of the content of upcoming events of interest for the resource newsletter. The team also completed a quality assurance (QA) review of the content for the fourth edition of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability and assessment resource newsletter. The final draft was forwarded to SECC team members to begin the editing, layout, approval, and distribution process. The anticipated dissemination is mid-August 2018. Additionally, feedback from state education agency (SEA) staff was solicited and analyzed to determine the topic, time, and date for the sixth Assessment and Accountability Network (AAN) Community of Practice conversation. Based on feedback, the event will take place in mid-August and will focus on the topic of ESSA requirements for working with local education agencies (LEAs). The team sent invitations to the conversation to network members. In addition, the team began the preparation process for the webinar conversation (i.e., conduct research for materials, plan for an event walk-through, etc.).

In August, the SECC team will review the newsletter distribution list and update it for any changes in membership. The distribution process will be completed with an anticipated dissemination of mid-August 2018. Additionally, the SECC team will finalize the research and development of all materials and resources for the August conversation. Materials will be submitted for QA review and approval. The team will hold planning meetings, including a walk-through prior to the event to ensure familiarity with roles, technology, etc. SEA staff will be sent a reminder prior to the event. Session materials and the webinar recording will be processed for publishing on the SECC website and distribution to participants.

SEA staff were surveyed for feedback regarding the June AAN Community of Practice conversation. The SECC team is currently analyzing the data.

The SECC team finalized steps for the distribution process of the newsletter, which was emailed to identified state education agency (SEA) staff in the center's region. Additionally, the SECC team finalized the research and development of all materials and resources for the June 15 Assessment and Accountability Network conversation. Materials were submitted for quality assurance (QA) review and approved. SECC held a walk-through prior to the event to ensure familiarity with roles, technology, etc. SEA staff were sent a reminder prior to the event. The session was held in mid-June, and session materials and the archive recording are being processed for distribution to SEA participants. Further, the team continued conducting research for the fourth edition of the bimonthly Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability and assessment resource newsletter. They submitted prospective resources and made decisions regarding exclusion or inclusion of those resources. The SECC team is now focused on developing annotations for those selected resources.

In July, SECC will distribute the webinar archive recording to SEA participants. SEA staff will be surveyed for feedback regarding the June15 assessment and accountability session, which was a follow-up event to the English learner (EL) assessment webinar. Additionally, the SECC team will complete development of annotations for selected resources, followed by submission for QA review. They also will continue research regarding upcoming events of interest for the fourth edition of the bimonthly ESSA accountability and assessment resource newsletter. The anticipated dissemination is mid-August 2018. Further, feedback from SEA staff will be solicited to determine the topic, time, and date for the sixth Assessment and Accountability Network conversation to be held in August 2018. Based on that feedback, the SECC team will conduct research for any necessary resources or materials, as well as communicate with SEA staff (i.e., save-the-date emails, etc.). 

To gather evidence of improvement, SECC will survey SEA staff for feedback regarding the June assessment and accountability session, which was a follow-up event to the webinar on EL assessment. 

Research articles and upcoming events of interest for the third edition of the bimonthly Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability and assessment resource newsletter were submitted for quality assurance (QA) review and approved. The SECC team reviewed and updated the distribution list and continued working on the distribution process. Also, feedback from state education agency (SEA) staff was used to establish the date for the next Assessment and Accountability Network conversation as June 15. This event will be a follow-up session on English learner (EL) assessment. SECC staff were sent a save-the-date communication. The SECC team did research and worked on the development of necessary materials and resources. A planning teleconference was held to determine the agenda, roles, etc. As before, EL experts are involved and will do the bulk of the June 15 session. SEA staff were sent an invitation with details and links. Based on invitation responses, an anticipated attendance record was developed. Additionally, the SECC team began research for articles and upcoming events of interest for the fourth edition of the bimonthly ESSA accountability and assessment resource newsletter. 

In early June, the distribution process will be finalized and this edition will be distributed. Additionally, the SECC team will finalize the research and development of all necessary materials and resources. Materials will be submitted for QA review. SECC will hold a walk-through prior to the event to ensure familiarity with roles, technology, etc. SEA staff will be sent a reminder prior to the event. The session will be held on June 15 and will be recorded. SEA participants will be sent links to both the session materials and recording of the session. Further, the SECC team will continue to conduct research for the fourth edition of the bimonthly ESSA accountability and assessment resource newsletter. Resources will be submitted and decisions made regarding exclusion or inclusion of those suggested resources. The SECC team will develop annotations for those selected resources and will submit them for QA review. The anticipated dissemination is late July 2018. Finally, feedback from SEA staff will be solicited to finalize the topic, time, and date for the sixth Assessment and Accountability Network conversation to be held approximately the third or fourth week of August 2018.

As evidence of improvement, SEA staff provided feedback for the upcoming June assessment and accountability session, which will be a follow-up event on EL assessment. 

The SECC team finalized the research for resources and upcoming events for the second edition of the bimonthly Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability and assessment resource newsletter. This edition included a “success story” describing effective personalized learning efforts in South Carolina. The team completed the review process and distributed the final newsletter in March. Additionally, polls resulted in the selection of April 11 as the date for the Assessment and Accountability webinar conversation. SECC staff sent a save-the-date communication to state education agency (SEA) staff. SECC staff received feedback from SEA staff regarding questions and specific issues on English learner (EL) assessment. Planning meetings/teleconferences were held to determine the agenda, roles, etc. Two AIR staff that are EL experts will participate in this effort. The SECC team sent SEA staff an invitation with details and links. The SECC team also began the necessary research and development of necessary materials and resources. A walk-through will be held several days before the webinar to ensure that technology works as intended and for staff to practice their assigned roles, which will be followed by a debrief session. Additionally, the SECC team will begin work on the third edition of the bimonthly ESSA accountability and assessment resource newsletter, which is scheduled for distribution in May.

The SECC team finalized the research for resources and upcoming events for the second edition of the bimonthly Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability and assessment resource newsletter. This edition included a “success story” that described an effective SECC state effort in South Carolina. The SECC team completed the review process and distributed the final newsletter in March, which concludes Milestone 8. Additionally, polls resulted in the selection of April 11, 2018, as the date for the Assessment and Accountability webinar/conversation. SECC staff sent a save-the-date communication to state education agency (SEA) staff. SECC staff received feedback from SEA staff regarding questions and specific issues on English learner (EL) assessment. Planning meetings were held to determine the agenda, roles, etc. Two AIR staff that are EL experts will participate in this effort. SEA staff were sent an invitation with details and links. The SECC team began the necessary research and development of necessary materials and resources.

In April, the SECC team will continue to design the content for the April 11 Assessment and Accountability webinar/conversation (fourth in the Year 6 series). Materials will be submitted for quality assurance review. A walk-through will be held 2–3 days prior to the event to ensure technology works as intended and for staff to practice their assigned roles. Additionally, the SECC team will initiate efforts for the third edition of the bimonthly ESSA accountability and assessment resource newsletter, which is scheduled for distribution in May. SECC staff will conduct research for possible resources and upcoming events of interest. The list of possible resources will be reviewed and selections made for inclusion. Further, planning will begin for the fifth Assessment and Accountability webinar/conversation. Using feedback from SEA staff, the primary focus will be to determine the topic, time, and date for the next network conversation (approximately mid-June). If applicable, the SECC team will research or begin development of any necessary materials or resources. 

The SECC team held a walk-through to ensure that the technology worked properly and that team members understood their roles for the upcoming network webinar/conversation. A reminder email was sent to state education agency (SEA) staff regarding the upcoming conversation. The Assessment and Accountability Network conversation was held on February 15, 2018. Three states shared “success stories” and answered questions from SEA staff from other states. The SECC team held a teleconference to debrief and learn how to make improvements for future conversations. Additionally, the SECC team continued efforts for the second edition of the bimonthly Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability and assessment resource newsletter, which is scheduled for distribution by late March. The SECC staff conducted research for possible resources and upcoming events of interest. The list of possible research was reviewed and selections made for resource inclusion.

The SECC team is developing the annotations for the resources that were chosen for this edition. Further, planning began for the next Assessment and Accountability webinar/conversation (fourth in the Year 6 series). Using feedback from SEA staff, the SECC team chose assessment of English learner (EL) students as the topic for the next conversation. Initial plans call for two EL experts from American Institutes for Research (AIR) to be guests for that conversation. The two EL experts were contacted and agreed to participate. The AIR staff were polled to determine available dates and times (approximately mid-April 2018). In March, the SECC team will finalize the research component of the second edition of the bimonthly ESSA accountability and assessment resource newsletter. The staff will conduct additional research for possible upcoming events of interest and will finalize the content and complete the review process to enable the final product to be distributed by the end of March. Additional polls will be done to select the best time and date in mid-April 2018 for the Assessment and Accountability Network webinar/conversation. The SEA staff will be sent a save-the-date communication when the time and date are finalized. The SECC staff will hold meetings/teleconferences to determine the content and agenda. The SEA staff will be sent an invitation with details and links. If applicable, the SECC team will research or begin development of any necessary materials or resources. As evidence of improvement, the SEA staff were the primary contributors in the February 15 Assessment and Accountability Network conversation.

With the assistance of SECC staff that serve as state liaisons, the SEA recipient list for the periodic newsletter was finalized. The SECC team completed the necessary research for additional content. The newsletter draft was reviewed, edited, and received final approval. The distribution process was tested and finalized. The final version was distributed to identified SEA staff. Additionally, SEA staff were polled to determine the topic, time, and date for the next Assessment and Accountability Network conversation. They selected February 15, 2018, as the date. The SECC team met via teleconferences and reached a decision regarding conversation topic. The conversation will focus on sharing “success stories” as a means to learn from each other. The PowerPoint for the conversation was developed, reviewed, and edited. The SEA staff membership list was reviewed and adjusted for staff departures or additions.

In February, SECC will communicate with SEA staff to establish protocols and talking points for the February conversation. The SECC team will do a “walk through” to test the technology and to ensure that team members know their roles. The Assessment and Accountability Network conversation will take place on February 15, 2018. Additionally, SECC staff will meet and plan for the second edition of the bimonthly ESSA accountability and assessment resource newsletter. The proposed timeline calls for distribution of this edition to occur in mid- or late March. SECC staff will conduct research for possible resources and upcoming events of interest. SECC staff will also meet to discuss any possible changes to the process based on lessons learned from the initial January edition. Further, planning will begin for the Assessment and Accountability webinar/conversation (fourth in the Year 6 series). Using feedback from SEA staff, the primary focus will be to determine the topic, time, and date for the next Assessment and Accountability Network conversation (approximately mid-April 2018). If applicable, the SECC team will research or begin development of any necessary materials or resources. As evidence of impact, SEA staff are taking a larger role by being the primary contributors in the February Assessment and Accountability Network conversation.

SECC staff hosted the Assessment and Accountability Network conversation on formative assessment. The event was attended by state education agency (SEA) staff from the states of Alabama and North Carolina. The Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) expert presented information and updates on the topic of formative assessment and fielded questions from SEA staff. The week following the event, SECC staff held a teleconference to debrief and discuss how to improve future network conversations. This event and follow-up debrief completed this milestone. Additionally, SECC staff met and made decisions regarding the newsletter timeline and format. SECC staff researched and found possible resources for the initial January edition. SECC staff developed, revised, and received final approval of the newsletter template. Later in the month, SECC staff met and made final decisions regarding the resources to be featured in the January newsletter and provided recommendations for SEA recipients of the periodic newsletter. Further, based on feedback from SEA staff during the event and from follow-up emails, the next Assessment and Accountability Network conversation will take place in mid-February 2018 with a final date and time to be determined by a poll. SECC staff met and brainstormed on the format and approach for the February conversation. In January, additional planning meetings/teleconferences will occur. SECC staff that serve as state liaisons will help finalize the SEA recipient list for the periodic newsletter. SECC staff will search for additional content with special focus on upcoming events of interest. The newsletter draft will be submitted for editing and review. The final version will be completed and distributed with an approximate release date in the third week of January 2018. SEA staff will be polled to determine the topic, time, and date for the next conversation in February. SECC staff will hold meetings and teleconferences to make decisions regarding the format and approach for this next conversation and will review the distribution list. Any necessary materials will be researched and/or developed. As evidence of impact, SEA staff provided important input and suggestions for the February Assessment and Accountability Network conversation. In addition, the North Carolina SEA staff expressed appreciation for access to a national expert from CSAI.

SECC staff completed the process of final editing and review. The 2017 Winter Edition of the College- and Career-Readiness Standards and Assessments (CCRS-A) resources document was distributed to identified state education agency (SEA) staff and was also placed on both the AIR and SECC websites for expanded availability of this resource. Additionally, the SEA staff poll resulted with the selection of December 5 for the next conversation with formative assessment as the topic. The SECC team solicited questions from the SEA participants for the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) expert to address during the conversation. The SECC team held teleconferences/meetings on November 1 and 16 to plan and assess progress. The materials for the December session were developed and edited. The SECC team and the CSAI expert held a walk-through on November 30 to ensure understanding of the content and staff roles. Further, the SECC team met on November 1 and made initial decisions regarding the audience, purpose, and format for the CCRS-A newsletter, which will replace the above resource list. An additional planning teleconference was held on November 14. SECC staff researched and found possible resources for the initial January edition of the newsletter and investigated possible templates/formats. On December 5, SECC will host the Assessment and Accountability Network conversation on formative assessment. During this event, SEA staff will be asked for feedback on the topic and time frame for the next network conversation. Based on that input, the SECC team will initiate planning for the next conversation, which will likely take place in early February 2018. Also, additional planning meetings/teleconferences will occur during December 2017. SECC staff that serve as state liaisons will identify and recommend SEA staff that will be the recipients of the periodic newsletter. The SECC team will search for additional content such as upcoming pertinent events/trainings to include in the newsletter and work will continue to customize an initial template/format. As evidence of impact, SEA staff provided important input and suggestions for the December Assessment and Accountability Network conversation. The CCRS-A Resource List 2017 Winter Edition was well received; one SEA staff member responded with an email that stated “this is a tremendous resource.”

The fourth iteration of the Assessment and Accountability Network Discussion Series was held. Five AIR staff and eight state education agency (SEA) staff from three states participated in the conversation. The discussion focused on SEA’s opt-out policies and field test processes as well as the impact of the new state plans with respect to changes in approaches or strategies, implementation challenges, and work/collaboration with local education agencies (LEAs). Thereafter, SECC staff held a debrief teleconference to evaluate the session and improve future sessions. Additionally, SECC staff completed the development of annotations for the 31 approved resources for the 2017 Winter Edition of the College- and Career-Readiness Standards and Assessment (CCRS-A) resources document. SECC staff began the process of final editing and review. Further, feedback was solicited from SEA staff for possible topics and dates for the next network conversation. A tentative topic (formative assessment) was selected as well as a time frame of early December.

The SECC team held a teleconference and planned changes for future assessment network activities. Later in the month, the team obtained an expert from the Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation (CSAI) for a Q&A session and held a teleconference with the CSAI expert to clarify agenda and roles. Finally, brainstorming was initiated to suggest goals, audience, format, etc., for the CCRS-A newsletter. Staff researched possible templates and set November 1 as a team meeting date to make some decisions regarding the aforementioned. In November, SECC staff will continue the process of final editing and review. SECC and SEA staff will be polled to select a time and date for the December conversation. The SECC team will solicit questions from the SEA participants for the CSAI expert to address during the conversation. The SECC team will hold at least one teleconference in November to assess progress and items that need additional action. The team also will meet to make some decisions regarding the CCRS-A newsletter's audience, purpose, and format. Additional planning meetings/teleconferences will occur during the month. As evidence of impact, SEA staff actively participated in the October Assessment and Accountability Network conversation. As part of that interchange, one state shared a work document with other state staff in attendance.