LAWRENCE — The Kansas State Department of Education and Achievement & Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas have announced a five-year, $29.9 million contract to develop, deliver and support the statewide assessment program for Kansas, including academic and English language proficiency assessments. Compared to one-time grants, the contract is the largest in KU history. It will continue the longtime relationship between the two institutions and deliver state-of-the-art technology and resources to support teaching and assess student learning.
The contract allows for the development, delivery and support resources to help teachers to provide instruction to all students, including those with significant cognitive disabilities, and to assess what students are learning.
“Our long-term goal in all we do is to use assessments to help teachers teach better and to help students learn better,” said Neal Kingston, director of KU’s Achievement & Assessment Institute and a University Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology. “Kansas has invested for years in making better assessments for the state’s schools while also ensuring students are meeting federal requirements for learning and achievement.”
The Kansas State Department of Education and KU’s Achievement & Assessment Institute have partnered in developing assessments for more than 40 years. The latest five-year contract will support AAI’s ongoing delivery of the current academic assessments, the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessments and the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessments, as well as the design and development of the next generation of academic assessments. AAI will also provide the online platform to deliver assessments and service desk support for all schools using the system.
Through the new contract, AAI and KSDE will collaborate to design the next generation of academic assessments to meet ongoing accountability requirements while producing periodic assessment results that support teachers’ instructional decision-making.
The Kansas State Department of Education and AAI have a long history of innovation in student assessments. The state was one of the first to test students online, and today 99% of Kansas students take their assessments online. Kansas is also one of a handful of states to include assessments, tools and resources in one integrated online system. The new partnership will help keep Kansas at the forefront of national assessment of student learning and educational practices.
“Not only have we been innovative in our partnership with KSDE, we’ve also historically been among the most cost-effective to deliver a state assessment program,” Kingston said. “The state of Kansas has demonstrated its commitment to continuing our partnership, and we are proud to be part of developing the next generation of assessments and supports for Kansas educators and students.”