Why Data Matters Series: How Understanding Assessment Data Can Transform Your School

ctb why data matters

Quality educational assessments not only capture data on learning and achievement but also are fundamentally changing the way teachers teach, students learn, and parents engage in classrooms around the world. They provide essential information to guide genuine education reform and improvement and allow us to fairly hold ourselves accountable for providing students with the quality education required to compete and thrive in their local community and in the world economy.

Administering all the assessments in the world does no good if they do not measure what was intended or yield meaningful reports, or if the data are misinterpreted and erroneously point our schools in the wrong direction. To make sure we have support for our learning, there is a wealth of instruction and professional development out there to support our data literacy, as well as assessment literacy. Like learning any new subject, understanding how to accurately collect data and properly interpret test results can be daunting at first, but is well worth the effort.

This “Why Data Matters” blog series will help you to build your plan and understand why data mastery is essential to success as teachers, administrators, and educational leaders. You’ll learn the various uses of data in education and receive a wealth of resources for continuing down the path of mastery.

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Join the Conversation

Here at McGraw-Hill Education CTB, we want to connect with you.

We personally invite you to follow us on our social media channels, where you will receive relevant assessment resources and beneficial product tips straight to your feeds. Stay in-the-know about free upcoming webinars and resource downloads, and start sharing these valuable tools with your friends and colleagues.

Follow us and join the conversation at:

Facebook: www.fb.com/CTBAssessments

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ctb-mcgraw-hill

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The New Acuity® College and Career Readiness (CCR) Interim Assessment Solution for Grades 3-8

School children using laptop with teacher in the classroomAre you looking for the most accurate adaptive testing technique? The new Acuity CCR adaptive assessments for Grades- 3-8 can help you enrich and personalize instruction with valid and reliable diagnostic insights. With all new test items specifically created to measure preparedness for new college and career readiness standards, Acuity CCR is the first interim assessment solution to reflect the unique, individual blueprints of both Smarter Balanced™ and PARCC® summative assessments.

With its rich diagnostic insights, Acuity CCR enables educators to deliver a personalized intervention plan for each student with engaging, digital standards-based instructional resources. The Acuity CCR solution includes several innovative approaches to interim assessments, combining a unique blend of technology and content to create the most powerful solution for college and career readiness:

  • All new items, written to the college and career readiness standards, and the item specifications for both Smarter Balanced and PARCC
  • Technology-enhanced item types – created in HTML 5 for delivery on modern devices and tablets – that provide evidence of student mastery of college and career readiness standards
  • Constructed-response, evidence-based selected response, and performance task item types that fully measure standards where multiple choice items cannot
  • An  adaptive testing option set to launch in the 2014/2015 school year

The Acuity CCR solution’s growth measurement is unique among interim solutions in that it is designed to ensure educators get the right evidence to make the best decisions at the student, class, school, and district levels.

In the first year, Acuity CCR will let educators reliably measure individual student growth between interim tests. In subsequent years, Acuity will empower teachers to compare students’ growth year-to-year. . The high quality content included in the solution possesses the variety, rigor and authentic standards alignment needed to prepare students for college and career.

Learn more about the Acuity CCR assessment solution for PARCC® and Smarter Balanced™ member states by registering for a webinar today!

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TerraNova, Third Edition with Inview Delivers G&T Results

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 9.09.16 AMDo You Know the Proven Power of TerraNova, Third Edition Combined with InView?

McGraw-Hill Education CTB’s TerraNova®, Third Edition is the perfect solution for Gifted and Talented program screening. TerraNova 3 adds rigor to your testing program, giving the educator the confidence knowing their students are appropriately placed in the Gifted and Talented program. With TerraNova 3 students are required to think strategically by drawing conclusions, understanding context, hypothesizing, and problem solving. 

InView® tests present students with innovative items that assess skills such as understanding verbal and quantitative concepts and analyzing and comprehending relationships between verbal and nonverbal stimuli. When pairing TerraNova 3 with InView you receive anticipated achievement scores—i.e. actual and expected scores for individual students and groups—providing information for identification of both Superior Academic Achievement and Superior Academic Ability. You can compare students’ achievement with that of other students of the same age, grade, and ability. 

TerraNova 3 continues a tradition of stability and reliability, which is why TerraNova is the most widely used assessment in the country. InView is an innovative cognitive-abilities assessment that comprises five tests that reliably measure skills and abilities important for academic success.

TerraNova 3 with InView adds value to your Gifted and Talented testing program by:

  • Featuring 2012 norms based on a national, empirical study
  • Delivering flexible and approved test solutions with your choice of Common Core, Multiple Assessments, Complete Battery, and Survey editions
  • Combining selected-response and constructed-response in the same test — TerraNova 3 is the only K–12 stand
  • Starring the fastest scoring turnaround in the industry: Get your results in paper reports within 5 days or access results online with the CTB Online Reporting System even sooner
  • Measuring student’s academic growth with pre and post testing during the school year
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New Vice President of Research for McGraw-Hill Education CTB

McGraw-Hill Education CTB has announced that it has appointed Craig Mills, Ed.D., as vice president of Research. Dr. Mills will lead CTB’s research activities and oversee more than 55 research professionals, psychometricians, statisticians, and educational measurement specialists. As a leader in the field of psychometrics and an executive with more than 25 years of experience leading assessment programs such as the CPA Exam and GRE®, Dr. Mills will be instrumental in advancing CTB’s contributions to the field of educational measurement and deepening its online and adaptive testing capabilities.

“Dr. Craig Mills is a true leader and innovator in the field of educational assessment,” said Ellen Haley, president of CTB. “We look forward to his leadership and expertise, which I am confident will take us to an even greater level of quality and excellence in assessment.”

Dr. Mills’ appointment comes as McGraw-Hill Education continues its transformation as a leader in digital learning and assessment and its growth as a standalone, global company. As the company’s educational testing division and an industry leader, CTB has achieved a number of important milestones in recent months and years:

  • Development of Common Core assessments for multiple consortia
  • Partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to administer the OECD Test for Schools through 2015
  • Development of the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC test), a new high school equivalency exam that offers a high-quality, affordable alternative to the GED
  • Introduction of hundreds of new features to its flagship benchmark assessment solution Acuity, including an all new user interface, new performance tasks and instructional resources

Before joining CTB, Dr. Mills served as strategic measurement advisor and vice president of Examinations for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He was responsible for the transition of the Uniform CPA Examination from pencil–and–paper to computer administration and the incorporation of cutting-edge, performance-based simulations into the CPA Exam. Prior to that, Craig directed the computerization of the GRE, the first high stakes admissions program to implement computer-based testing, for ETS, where he worked for more than 14 years. Craig has published and presented nationally and internationally on a number of measurement topics, including contributing to the first guidelines for computer adaptive testing issued by the American Council on Education in 1995 and co-editing the book “Computer-Based Testing: Building the Foundation for Future Assessments” in 2002.

Dr. Mills received his doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and started his assessment career at the Louisiana Department of Education as a psychometrician. In 2008, he received an Award of Distinction from the University of Massachusetts and was named to the school of education’s list of “10 Most Influential Graduates in 100 Years.”

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