Endowment facilitates program in assessing student acheivement

In a move that will enhance the study of new methods in evaluating student achievement, the U.S. Department of Education awarded $269,000 this week to the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute’s Center for School Change.
The center will use the new funds to jump-start a project that will study effective assessment techniques being used in charter and public schools across the United States.
Joe Nathan, the center’s director, said the money will be used to develop criteria for identifying schools that are leading the country in assessing student achievement. Student achievement can be measured through regular tests, quizzes and exams. The center is in the process of choosing 30 schools from across the country to take part in the study.
“We have had an enormous national response,” said Nathan, who sent out a listserv on Tuesday evening announcing the center’s intentions. By Thursday afternoon there were over 125 responses, including one from the White House.
Founded in 1990, the Center for School Change, which is located on the West Bank in the Humphrey Center building, is committed to higher standards in education. This is accomplished in a variety of ways including public education, research and by drawing media attention to sensitive issues.
The center provides funds for rural school districts throughout Minnesota and gives technical assistance to communities in other areas of the country. The center works with students, parents and teachers to provide new and more effective models of education that can be passed along to administrators and public policy makers.
— Benjamin Ganje