K-3 N.C. Assessment Think Tank, a group of 22 teachers and education experts, aims to develop the best assessment format for students from kindergarten to third grade.
In 2015, kindergarten through third-grade teachers across the state will begin using the new assessments.
Once a student’s assessment is completed, the data will be used to create a “child profile” that will remain in the state’s database.
Kenneth Dodge, the think tank’s co-chair and a Duke public policy professor, emphasized that it is an “assessment for learning” rather than an “assessment of learning.”
Dodge compared the assessment to basketball coach Roy Williams’ assessment of a player’s various skills.
“It is of little value to get one overall test score, but Roy assesses every day that player’s progress in footwork and lateral movement, and he then knows what to emphasize in practice,” Dodge said.
North Carolina was one of three states to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2013 to develop its kindergarten assessments.
Eight other states and the District of Columbia are in a partnership with North Carolina, and officials are looking at North Carolina’s pilot program to enhance it for use in their own states, said Cindy Bagwell, the K-3 Assessment project administrator.