When ERB introduced Milestone Assessments, our new interim assessment option covering the critical subjects of mathematics and reading comprehension, we did so with an eye toward giving schools more flexibility while providing more valuable student growth data for educators and families. We envisioned a future in which teachers have the information they need to design unique instructional and interventional strategies for every individual class and student, and the ability to adjust as needed.
The coronavirus pandemic has stretched this thinking. Although the importance of high-quality, meaningful testing remains the same, the way in which we test is most certainly changing. Moving forward, testing at home, even outside of normal school ours, will be more common. Schools will have the flexibility to design testing programs that fit around their schedules, and best position their students for success. And with more regular assessment touchpoints, we can also reduce the length of assessments while making student data timelier and more meaningful.
To that end, ERB is taking an important step this fall to forge stronger relationships with educators by launching 360 Access™, an interactive web-based portal with dynamic data reporting tools that teachers can use to impact student learning in real time—regardless of whether they are at-home or in school.
Should there ever be another situation where students are out of the classroom, schools will retain the flexibility needed to assess student progress already built into their testing programs. The use of technology to administer assessments to students remotely this spring may not be the exception; it might be the new normal!