New Market Research: Districts’ Most Pressing Assessment Needs

Managing Editor

Love them or hate them, assessments play a huge role in education today.

They give schools and parents a gauge of students’ academic progress. They provide teachers with information on how to improve instruction. And they give policymakers at the district, state, and federal levels a sense of whether the academic strategies the public is paying for are having an impact.

It’s up to companies working in the K-12 market to sort out those competing demands, and which products and features individual districts need most to accomplish their goals. EdWeek Market Brief has just released a new special report that gives assessment providers and others the critical intel they need to answer those questions. Assessment Problems & Proposed Solutions: What District Leaders Want is the second in a series of three special reports based on a nationally representative survey of K-12 administrators. The reports offer powerful information for companies about what district officials want from educational products—and what they feel they’re not getting now.

In the survey, we asked nearly 500 K-12 administrators in an open-ended question to describe the biggest problem, other than cost, that they face in assessment. We then asked them in another open-ended question to invent a product or service to solve their most-pressing assessment challenge.

District leaders said they envisioned many potential solutions to their assessment pain points. Some asked for tools to help them make sense of which assessments are aligned to state standards. Others want technology that allows for more teacher collaboration. Still others are looking for products to help them make sense of the array of test results—such as interim, summative, and classroom-based assessments—that their students take.

The special report offers other insights from survey data, including:

  • Which qualities in formative assessment matter most to K-12 officials;
  • How often district leaders look to replenish or replace classroom assessments;
  • Which companies do they believe are best at solving their assessment problems; and
  • A breakdown of formative assessment preferences and purchasing trends, by region and district poverty level.

The first of EdWeek Market Brief’s special reports, which was focused on district officials’ biggest curriculum product needs, was released in June. The third installment, which is focused on professional development, is being released this fall.

Click here to download a preview of Assessment Problems & Proposed Solutions. Or download the full report if you’re an enterprise member, for a closer look at key insights on the curriculum market.

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