Pathways to Equity header
Welcome colleagues,

Last Thursday, President Obama signed the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This bill marks a new chapter in public education and I see some promising signs, "ESSA opens the door to enable states to rethink what schools and learning of the 21st century should look like. If we believe that every school should nurture life-long learning in every student, in which classrooms are places of exploration, creativity, and discourse, where learning is meaningfully connected to the world outside the school walls, and in which teachers are respected and empowered to design engaging curricula and assessments, then state accountability systems should be recast and reimagined." 

I invite you to read my entire commentary on this historic legislative act, ESSA Opens the Door for 21st Century Learning.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season,
Dan French
Executive Director
Partner Profile
ILN Performance Assessment Resource Bank
The Council of Chief State School Officers' Innovation Lab Network, a group of 12 states taking action to identify, test, and implement student-centered approaches to learning, recently launched their Performance Assessment Resource Bank. CCE is proud to be one of the contributors to this project. The Bank offers high-quality, expert-reviewed performance tasks as well as the resources teachers, leaders, and policymakers need to support the use of performance assessment for meaningful learning. We are so excited to be part of this movement, working to create assessment that give students real choice and agency, and the opportunity to show what they know and can do in rich, student-centered ways.
Thought Leadership
Recent Conference Presentations

Coalition of Essential School's Fall Forum 
CCE's Gary Chapin and Stacy Young led a round table discussion, Bringing Performance Assessment into the Accountability Arena. There was rigorous discourse among Coalition of Essential Schools  members as they dug into the guiding question: How can we change the discourse and policy at the local and state levels on how we assess student learning and school progress by creating strong performance assessment systems that can become the new norm for accountability?
Learning Forward Annual Conference
CCE's Laurie Gagnon and Stacy Young, alongside Rochester, New Hampshire coaches Kathy Cotton and Heidi Zollman, presented the session,  U sing Professional Learning Communities to Create Quality Performance Assessments , an overview of CCE's Quality Performance Assessment process and Rochester school district's journey into the development of performance tasks in their competency-based district. 

Gagnon and fellow CCE staffer, Irene Logan, alongside Professor Xiu Cravens of Vanderbilt University, presented the session,  Exploring Approaches to Instructional Improvement through Collaborative Inquiry, an outline of four approaches to using practice-based inquiry cycles in teacher-centered professional development.

COSEBOC Regional Gathering
Christina Brown, former Senior Director for Instruction and Assessment at CCE, presented the session, A New Assessment Narrative for Boys of Color: Performance Assessment for Engagement and Rigor, at COSEBOC's recent gathering in Boston. The workshop focused on performance assessment as a critical avenue for creating learning experiences that are engaging, rigorous, and culturally relevant in order to support the success of all students, especially boys of color. 
Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency (LAUTR), a partner program of CCE, recently received funding from the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NTCR), who is a recipient of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant, to be a participant in their Teacher Preparation Transformation Center
A few years back, Dr. Shawn Clark, Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Saluda County Schools in South Carolina, purchased several copies of CCE's  Quality Performance Assessment: A Guide for Schools and Districts for educators in her district. Now, Clark and her colleague Dr. Abbey Duggins have recently published their own book, Using Quality Feedback to Guide Professional Learning: A Framework for Instructional Leaders, and we're pleased a couple of our tools are part of it. The text offers useful resources, artifacts, vignettes, and examples to help build the capacity of teachers to provide valuable feedback to their students. Congratulations, Saluda County Schools!
In the News
CCE Executive Director Dan French  provided input to a  WBUR piece looking at the 20 year history of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). This interview came shortly before the state board of education announced to eliminate the current MCAS standardized test in favor of a hybrid version based largely on the Common Core-aligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test.  

Dan was also quoted in a   Christian Science Monitor article on the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act. 
December 2015
In This Issue

"A collection of performance tasks that have been used in real classrooms provide
much needed models. Educators always need to consider how to implement 
an assessment to best meet the needs of their students. But for many, it is more accessible to start with a task that is already designed rather than starting from scratch." 

Laurie Gagnon, Director, Quality Performance Assessment 

CCE's Learning Forward presentations are now available online! Check them out to learn more about our work and the work of our valued partners.

"We are so excited to join the National Center for Teacher Residencies.  As members, we will have a national presence as a residency program. This important network will allow us to share ideas and gain access to resources to continue our mission to promote equity in education and impact the lives of the students we serve." 

Kery Jackson, LAUTR Project Director