Community Powered:

About Our Community of Practice

Since 2019, Education First has convened practitioners, researchers and field leaders to develop a framework for advancing equitable design and practice in assessment.

We have been working to document examples of what co-created, holistic and equitable assessments and assessment systems look like in practice to support district practitioners, educators and system leaders.

Organizations in the community of practice have aligned on a set of principles to inform the documentation efforts on this site. 

This work has been supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

  • Our current assessment systems and structures are designed to produce inequity. But they can be redesigned to promote educational justice
  • Young people and the adults who serve them are whole, not broken
  • Youth, families, and the community are experts and co-creators of knowledge and must be mutually accountable to one another for supporting human flourishing

If… assessment and accountability systems are co-designed in partnership with and reflect the values, goals and contexts of local communities

And… Our systems of continuous improvement broaden their focus beyond individual student outcomes to holding systems accountable for policies and practices that support student learning and flourishing

Then… community values and assets will be represented in the design and use of high quality, rigorous assessments that impacts all students, especially those historically furthest from opportunity

Which will… improve the learning outcomes of students and increase student, family and community engagement in our education systems.

We seek to advance examples of assessments and assessment systems that

Are used to better understand inequities in learning conditions created by policies and practices that are harmful to some young people

Value what is significant to youth and that connects to community goals and strengths

Are designed through a localized understanding of community assets, culture and funds of knowledge, as well as a historical understanding of structural inequities

Build upon young people’s multiple identities, funds of knowledge and community cultural wealth to serve as a culturally sustaining tool

Incorporate whole child principles and connects to continuous improvement of practice and learning environments that support young people to thrive

Demonstrates authentic partnerships between practitioners, young people, adults in schools and the community to create systems and processes for the implementation and use of assessments

Meet the Organizations

Center for Innovation in Education (C!E)

At The Center for Innovation in Education we facilitate connections, build relationships, and share learning among those who must work in concert to bring about equity-seeking change in education. We often, but not always, orient this work around innovation in assessment and accountability systems as a key lever for systems change.

Point of Contact: Rita Harvey and Doannie Tran
Visit the Website: Click Here

Click here to read their equitable assessment example >>

The Center for Youth and Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE)

The Center for Youth and Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE) at Roger Williams University partners with youth, families, educators, and other stakeholders to build collective power and fight for educational justice. Building the schools our communities deserve requires collective power derived from shared leadership and trusting relationships between youth, families, and educators.

Point of Contact: Keith Catone
Visit the Website: Click Here

Click here to read their equitable assessment example >>

Education First

Education First is a mission-driven strategy and policy organization dedicated to helping their clients navigate through complexity in the education ecosystem to create more people-focused, equitable and inclusive initiatives, strategies and organizations. They bring deep, practical expertise earned through on-the-ground experience as former teachers, district and state leaders, policy advisors and foundation staff.

Point of Contact: Ila Deshmukh Towery and Khaled Ismail
Visit the Website: Click Here

Great Schools

The GreatSchools is the leading nonprofit providing high-quality information that supports parents pursuing a great education for their child, schools striving for excellence, and communities working to diminish inequities in education. Over 49 million users visit our award-winning website each year to learn about schools in their area, explore research insights, and access thousands of free, evidence-based parenting resources to support their child’s learning and well-being.

Point of Contact: Jon Deane
Visit the Website: Click Here

Click here to read their equitable assessment example >>

Partnership for the Future of Learning

The Partnership for the Future of Learning brings together a diverse network of individuals and organizations with a deep commitment to an equitable, high-quality, public education system. Together, we promote policies to strengthen this system, and call attention to schools that are making learning rigorous, relevant, engaging, and available for every student.

Point of Contact: Cyrus Driver
Visit the Website: Click Here

UChicago Consortium Equitable Learning & Development Group (ELDG)

The Equitable Learning & Development Group conducts and translates research on student experience for an educator audience. We seek to catalyze a shift in education practice and policy toward centering students’ experience of their classrooms and schools. The core of our work is developing evidence-based practical measures of student experience (and associated tools and resources) that: (1) enhance the ability of educators, students, schools, and districts to positively transform students’ experience in classrooms and schools, (2) promote equitable, excellent student outcomes, and (3) foster healthy, engaged educational communities.

Point of Contact: Shanette Porter and Camille Farrington
Click here to read their equitable assessment example >>

Yale Education Collaboratory

At The Yale Education Collaboratory We believe that the future of equitable and inclusive education can be realized through collaborative research partnerships and innovative research practices that advance the science and practice of social and emotional learning. The mission of the Education Collaboratory at Yale is to advance the science and practice of social and emotional learning (SEL). Through intentional collaboration with students, educators, leaders, and organizations, we investigate, inspire, and address open questions in the Who, What, and How of inclusive and equitable SEL.

Point of Contact: Chris Cipriano
Visit the Website: Click Here

Click here to read their equitable assessment example >>

Dr. Francesca Lopez

About Dr. Lopez: Dr. Lopez’s research program aims to inform policymakers, school leaders, and teacher educators about policies and classroom practices that can mitigate inequities. She has carried out several studies using large-scale National Center for Education Statistics restricted-license data sets to examine relationships among state policies focused on language instruction education for students who speak English as a second language, teacher preparation, and Latinx students’ outcomes. In addition to using large-scale data sets, Dr. Lopez has conducted research in classrooms to examine how teacher behaviors promote achievement and identity outcomes for Latinx youth in various educational settings. Her current research is examining multilingual students’ outcomes in dual-language classrooms.

Point of Contact: Jennifer Randall

Dr. Mike Russell

About Dr. Russell: Dr. Russell uses Innovative computer-based technologies and applications of Universal Design to enhance educational testing and assessment; large-scale assessment and test design; computer-based testing; Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP) Standards and assessment interoperability standards.

Point of Contact: Mike Russell

Dr. Sean Talamas

About Dr. Sean Talamas: Dr. Talamas is Managing Partner and Executive Coach at Proof Leadership Group. Sean is the former Executive Director of Character Lab, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Character & Leadership Development (JCLD). He is an advisor to various K-12 research and development initiatives, including the Advanced Education Research and Development Fund (AERDF) and Blueprint for Inclusive Research and Development in Education

Point of Contact: Sean Talamas

Dr. Steve Sireci

About Dr. Steve Sireci: Stephen G. Sireci is Professor in the Psychometrics Program and Director, Center for Educational Assessment, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. His Ph.D. is in psychometrics from Fordham University; his master’s and bachelor’s degrees are in psychology from Loyola College (Maryland). Previously, he was Senior Psychometrician (GED Testing Service), Psychometrician (Uniform CPA Exam), and Research Supervisor of Testing (Newark Board of Education). His research is primarily in educational test development and evaluation, particularly issues of validity, cross-lingual assessment, standard setting, and computer-based testing.

Point of Contact: Dr. Steve Sireci