Four recommendations for improving IADA

Four recommendations for improving IADA

By Dale Chu

Earlier this month, the Collaborative for Student Success proudly joined a group of thirteen signatories in submitting a response to the U.S. Department of Education’s request for information (RFI) on the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) pilot. A putative first step of re-regulation, you can read more about the RFI here.

Notably, the joint letter reflects the collective effort of a network of interested partners who would like to see the feds take a more assertive role in helping to spur assessment innovation in districts and states. Specifically, the network outlined four key recommendations: (1) fund IADA; (2) afford states a planning period; (3) revise the current interpretation of “comparability” requirements to allow for more flexibility; and (4) clarify guidance and improve communications to support demonstration efforts.

The Department received nearly 9000 responses to the RFI. Interestingly enough, letters from prominent testing skeptics (i.e., the AFT and the NEA) also zeroed in on the need for more funding, more planning time, and expansion of the law’s requirements around comparability. While it remains to be seen if or how the feds leverage these responses for re-regulation, at some point it may make sense for Uncle Sam to convene key stakeholders (e.g., assessment experts, past IADA participants) to delve deeper into IADA’s constraints and make additional recommendations. Keep your eyes on these pages in the coming months should this effort generate additional momentum.

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