New Survey: Policy Advisors Weigh In On the Future of Assessments and Accountability

Whiteboard Advisors’ asked Education Insiders for their insights on the use of interim assessments for summative assessment purposes under ESEA. Many have concerns that such usage would distort the purpose of interims, survey finds.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 1, 2021 – Whiteboard Advisors, a unique strategy consulting, research, and communications firm focused on the intersection of education and economic mobility, today released the latest edition of its Education Insider survey, which asks policymakers, staff, and advocates to gauge their sentiment on the use of interim assessments for summative assessment purposes under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as a few states requested in their ESEA assessment waiver application.  

“Save for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of Education did not grant any waivers to cancel state assessments or use an interim exam program this year in lieu of the state’s approved summative assessment,” said David DeSchryver, senior vice president and co-director of research at Whiteboard Advisors. “The process is adding fuel to ongoing —  and escalating —  conversations about the future of statewide summative assessments under ESEA.”

Among the highlights from the survey:

  • A significant majority (77.5%) noted that they were concerned about using interim assessments in lieu of traditional state summative assessments for the purposes of school accountability

  • More than half of respondents (56.1%) were either somewhat or strongly opposed to the use of interim assessments in lieu of annual summative assessments as an allowable statewide assessment option under ESEA.

Launched in 2009, Education Insider was designed to cut through the noise and provide real-time insights on education policy trends from Congressional staff, federal officials, and other Insiders close to the policymaking process. 

With offices in Washington, D.C., Boulder, and Menlo Park, Whiteboard Advisors has a well-earned reputation as a go-to partner for innovative nonprofits, impact investors, and entrepreneurs working to transform the education and workforce landscape. The firm's diverse portfolio of clients spans pre-K-12 and higher education, workforce development, and the future of work.