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Getting Smart Releases Assessing Deeper Learning: A Survey of Performance Assessment and Mastery Tracking Tools Report

With Support From the Deeper Learning Student Assessment Initiative (DLSAI), this report investigates the state of the field and reports on best practices, tools, and resources to support Deeper Learning performance assessment.

This report reviews, evaluates, and identifies tools and technologies that make Deeper Learning student assessment systems efficient and effective for networks, districts, schools, and teachers.

    SEATTLE, WA, April 18, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Getting Smart, with support from the Deeper Learning Student Assessment Initiative (DLSAI), comprised of Envision Education, the Asia Society, ConnectEd, and New Tech Network, released the "Assessing Deeper Learning: A Survey of Performance Assessment and Mastery Tracking Tools" report. This report reviews, evaluates, and identifies tools and technologies that make Deeper Learning student assessment systems efficient and effective for networks, districts, schools, and teachers. Assessing Deeper Learning features the expertise of Tom Vander Ark and Dr. Carri Schneider of Getting Smart, an education advocacy firm.

"Despite marked progress in the last year, the tools for creating and managing performance assessments and tracking student progress are still inadequate for next-generation learning environments," said Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart. "The gaps are most pronounced for project-based schools and networks embracing competency-based progressions."

To assist in building a common landscape in which to best support schools and networks in their efforts towards Deeper Learning assessments, 12 key features were identified:

- Interoperability;
- Calibration of scores;
- A library of tasks;
- Support for multiple revisions;
- Support for collaboration;
- Customization;
- Standards-based project rubrics;
- Available professional development;
- Student portfolio development;
- User experience/Usability
- Reporting tools, and;
- Affordable price tag.

"Performance assessments make new standards real and personalize learning, and can serve as authentic gateways in competency-based systems," said Dr. Schneider, Director of Policy & Research with Getting Smart. "Performance assessments are often the best way to apply knowledge and skills, particularly those difficult to measure in traditional ways such as critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication and academic mindset."

Until recently, it was deemed unattractive to invest in performance assessments, resulting in a gap between program expectations and the availability of tools to serve this emerging niche. This report highlights the critical need for effective tracking tools and platforms as the shift to Deeper Learning and the application of educational technology continues to progress.

"At Envision Education, we know first hand how effective well-designed and well-supported performance assessment can be for students and teachers," remarked Gia Truong, CEO & Superintendent of Envision Education, a network of Bay Area high schools. "We are thrilled that Assessing Deeper Learning calls attention to the critical need for quality tools to support deeper learning, as well as to the organizations that are working to create and disseminate these tools; we hope this report is widely read and discussed."

About Getting Smart
Getting Smart is an education advocacy firm passionate about innovations in learning. We help education organizations construct cohesive and forward-thinking strategies for branding, awareness, advancement and communication, and public and media relations. We are advocates for better K-12 education as well as early, post-secondary and informal learning opportunities for all students. We attempt to accelerate and improve the shift to digital learning. On GettingSmart.com we cover important events, trends, products, books and reports. Follow Getting Smart on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Envision Education
Envision Education transforms the lives of students - especially those who will be first in their families to attend college - by preparing them for success in college and in life. We operate three high-performing high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area (Envision Schools) and we provide training, coaching and professional development to districts and schools through Envision Learning Partners (ELP). Follow Envision Education on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

About the Deeper Learning Student Assessment Initiative (DLSAI)
The Deeper Learning Student Assessment Initiative (DLSAI) is a collaborative partnership of organizations with a common mission to support and improve student assessment practice. Identified as leaders in Deeper Learning and student assessment, Envision Learning Partners (ELP) provides leadership support for the DLSAI, which includes Asia Society, ConnectEd, Envision Education and New Tech Network. DLSAI members, in partnership with the Stanford Center for Assessment and Learning (SCALE), are committed to expanding the reach of Deeper Learning and student assessment in their own networks and beyond, through the creation and sharing of tools and resources that aid in the effective implementation of performance tasks. DLSAI members share a common interest in finding the tools and technology that make Deeper Learning student assessment systems efficient and effective for networks, districts, schools and teachers.

*MEDIA CONTACT*
Getting Smart: Jennifer Aalgaard at (206) 291-7190 or jennifer@gettingsmart.com
DLSAI/Envision Education: Monica Alatorre at (510) 451-2415 or monica@envisionschools.org


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Jennifer Aalgaard
Getting Smart

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