Center on Advancing Measurement and Assessment

We are committed to improving measurement and assessment to maximize opportunities for all young people and adults to learn and thrive.

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Two little girls doing a science experiment

Resources and Tools

The Center on Advancing Measurement and Assessment offers a collection of publications, tools, and other resources for those looking to learn more about developing or selecting evidence-based measures or tools.

Publications

NAEP Data in Focus: Examining the Research

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), led by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. AIR informs the NAEP program and the research community through our work, NAEP Data in Focus. The NAEP Data in Focus working papers combine AIR’s expertise and experience not only with NAEP, but with other large-scale assessments and survey-based longitudinal studies. The papers are made available to researchers and the public.


Pressing Needs in Research on K-12 Civic Learning: A Call to the Field

Although young people learn about democracy and ways to engage in civic life through family, peer groups and communities, K-12 schools play a role in formally educating large numbers of students and preparing them to participate in our democracy. In this brief, the authors discuss the need for action in two inter-related areas to help address the current state of democracy through the promotion of K-12 civic learning: measurement and causal research. 


Synthesizing NAEP and International Large-Scale Assessment Score Trends: A Pattern of Diverging Performance

Bringing together results from NAEP and three international large-scale assessments (ILSAs), this report examines long-term intermediate, and recent score trends in reading, mathematics, and science for U.S. students in 4th grade, in 8th grade, and at 15 years old. The publication includes a Stats-at-a-Glance, a research brief, and a research note


Why It's Necessary to Accurately Measure Employee Skills and How to Do It

This brief offers five questions that highlight different facets relevant in the validation of skills that may be helpful in identifying areas of organizational policy and practice that can be rethought or refined.


Measuring Skills at Work: Lessons from the Field

Funded through a grant from Walmart, this report presents the results of research that looked at the landscape of employer skill validation practices and the systems and tools that support them through case study interviews with 10 employers and 5 tool providers.


Changes Between 2011 and 2019 in Achievement Gaps Between High- and Low-Performing Students in Mathematics and Science: International Results from TIMSS

This Statistics in Brief uses data from the 2011 and 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and explores how achievement gaps between high- and low-performing 4th- and 8th-grade students in the U.S. and other education systems have changed over time. The SiB focuses on two questions for each grade and subject: (1) In which education systems did score gaps between high- and low-performing students change (widen or narrow) between 2011 and 2019? (2) Is the widening or narrowing of score gaps between 2011 and 2019 driven primarily by changes in the scores of high-performing students, low-performing students, or both?


Maryland College and Career Readiness Empirical Study: Final Report

This report for the Maryland State Department of Education presents the findings from an empirical study of Maryland's college and career readiness (CCR) standard. The study includes a predictive validity analysis and a content and standards alignment analysis. 


Accelerating Progress in U.S. Education: Key Lessons from Other Federal R&D Investments in Technology and Innovation

To help inform the vision for the National Center for Advanced Development in Education (NCADE) within IES, this brief describes lessons learned from features of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and similar R&D focused agencies such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in the Department of Energy.

Tools

National Center for Education Statistics: Equity in Education Dashboard

NCES has developed the Equity in Education Dashboard, which compiles key findings and trends on the current state of educational equity in the United States. Drawing from the framework in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report, the website is divided into a series of domains, each of which includes a set of indicators. The indicators—which are based on statistics from various data sources like national surveys of students, parents, teachers, and principals—highlight disparities in education among population groups, including differences by race/ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, English learner status, and disability status. More findings will be added to the Equity in Education Dashboard over time.


National Center on Intensive Intervention: Tools Index

The National Center on Intensive Intervention has developed six tools charts to assist educators and families in becoming informed consumers who can select academic and behavioral assessment tools and interventions that meet standards for technical rigor and address their specific needs. Explore this overview of available tools charts and considerations for using them to identify assessments and interventions.


Stop, Think, Act: Ready to Assess, A Social and Emotional Learning Toolkit and Tools Index

Assessing conditions for learning and development and social and emotional competencies (i.e., knowledge, attitudes, and skills) is a complex task. Once you have determined that you are ready to assess, you can move forward with choosing an assessment tool that will help achieve your desired purpose. This Tools Index is designed to help you make an informed decision on the best tool to assess conditions for learning and development and social and emotional competencies.


Standards and Assessments (S&A) Ecosystem

The AIR S&A Ecosystem provides a cohesive and comprehensive structure to guide states and districts in the development of standards-based systems. This interactive tool walks users through a six-step process for creating a standards-based education system that ensures all students are prepared for college, careers, and military service. 


Social Studies Standards Map

Explore this interactive U.S. map that AIR developed to show the disciplines that social studies standards cover in each state.


AIR's Ready to Implement Toolkit

Education leaders, staff, and teams can use this research-based resource from AIR to learn about what readiness is and why it is important to consider when making data-driven decisions. The toolkit features a high-quality readiness assessment alongside the Ready Resource Library, which provides relevant tools to help build readiness. 

Blogs and Commentaries

Teachers Are on the Front Lines of Preserving Democracy. They Can't Do It Alone

In this blog, AIR's Laura Hamilton and Corey Savage encourage researchers and policymakers to take several actions to implement a broader strategy for systematic data collection, reporting, and evaluation for civics and U.S. history. 


Improving Accountability Through Authentic Community Engagement: Five Common Pitfalls States and Districts Should Avoid

School accountability works best when it's shaped by authentic input from the people it's meant to serve. But states and school districts don't often use a good process when they try to engage their communities. Laura Hamilton (AIR) and Erika Landl (Center for Assessment) explain the five most common mistakes and propose a process to gather authentic input and engage the community in meaningful ways. 


A Practitioner's Insights on Student Misconceptions and Errors

In this Q&A, Tad Johnston, AIR instructional coach, shared why and how educators can use the findings in AIR's report, Student Misconceptions and Errors in Physics and Mathematics: Exploring Data from TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced.


Five Key Elements for Developing State Social Studies

In this Q&A, AIR’s Beth Ratway, principal technical assistance consultant, and Stefanie Wager, senior technical assistance consultant, discuss why standards matter, how to manage the process of developing—and implementing—social studies standards, and five key elements for success.

Spotlights

Spotlight on Equity in High-Stakes Professional Testing and Assessment

AIR has joined industry leaders to help pave the way forward for professional testing and assessment practices that aim to increase testing fairness and efficiency, advance equity, and minimize bias. This spotlight highlights AIR's work in equitable item development and test taking, psychometrics expertise, and innovative approaches to test development. 


Spotlight on Adult Skills: Do U.S. Adults Have the skills Needed to Thrive in the 21st Century? Four PIAAC Studies by AIR

Understanding how well adults of all ages can perform common, everyday tasks can help policymakers, practitioners, and adult education and training experts craft strategies for lifelong learning and competencies. This spotlight highlights four studies by AIR that use data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to examine digital literacy, service-sector workers, and problem-solving skills.  


Spotlight on Standards and Assessment in Social Studies

Since 2012, AIR has intentionally grown a strong portfolio of social studies education projects. AIR has supported more than 12 states, various U.S. territories, and 4 national organizations in the planning, revision, and implementation of social studies standards. 


Spotlight on Civic Learning

High-quality civic learning is crucial for ensuring that young people are prepared to contribute to thriving democratic societies through informed civic participation and constructive engagement with their communities. AIR's work in civic learning draws on the diverse content and methodological expertise of AIR staff and the collaborations we form with clients and partners. 


Spotlight on Investigating School Accountability Systems

As long as accountability systems have been in place, AIR has conducted research and evaluation on the design and implementation of these policies. Our work spans accountability activities from developing performance indicators to providing supports to districts and schools. From landmark studies of accountability under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), to cutting-edge research on accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), AIR is on the forefront of accountability research.