Harvard Professor Proposes Plan for Using Student Assessment Data This School Year

Harvard Professor Proposes Plan for Using Student Assessment Data This School Year

March 2, 2021

In light of the Education Department’s decision to refrain from issuing a second year of waivers of federally required statewide student assessments this school year, states are rapidly shifting their conversations to focus on how best to collect, present, and use resulting data on student learning. Andrew Ho, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, recently presented one potential plan for how states might use student assessments this year to not only gather data on learning to target instruction and resources, but to also identify students who became disconnected from school systems during the pandemic. Ho’s proposed plan would enable states to identify students for whom the state had comparable learning data while conducting an “equity check” for students the “state has lost track of.” Though some states are expressing disagreement with the Department’s guidance, most are beginning or continuing conversations on how to safely administer assessments and use the data in the most effective ways possible in light of significant disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.