• Closing the communication gap between parents and teachers with transparent data

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    You’ve most likely experienced a scenario where a students’ math assessment results did not reflect their math grade. In a traditional parent-teacher conference, the bulk of the meeting would involve the teacher outlining that contradiction, and more often than not, the parents are seeing the assessment results for the first time. This leaves the parent and teacher with limited time to explore why the child is facing difficulties and how to work together to help the student improve.

    Emerging technology can help make those parent-teacher conferences more impactful by communicating critical information to the parent in advance. That time can now be spent focusing on holistically supporting the child.

    “That’s among the goals of software that blends effective communication with K-12 assessment platforms,” explains Michael Fee, Vice President of Business Development for Spotlight Reporting at Pearson. “Technology can activate a school’s hidden superpower — an engaged family armed withpersonalized insights about their child.”

    Personalization at scale

    Spotlight’s Video Reporting TechnologyTM was designed to bridge three resources in K-12 school buildings: teachers’ commitment to communicating with family, parents’ desire to be more engaged in their child’s learning, and the wealth of data bottled up in assessment systems.

    “We saw this problem in education where we don’t communicate data in a way that a lot of people can use,” Fee continues. “Teachers have been using their own initiative and effort, but it wasn’t easy to give personalized and holistic pictures of where a student stands.”

    Spotlight, founded in 2012 by Fee and his colleagues and acquired by Pearson in 2021, converts assessment data into personalized, easy-to-understand videos, infographics, and written reports for families and caregivers in over 30 languages. For example, the state of California has begun to communicate test results through Spotlight’s mobile video reporting in a host of languages, including Vietnamese and Tagalog.

    This customized communication also highlights resources and activities most beneficial for each student’s needs. “The amount of online learning resources can be overwhelming,” adds Fee. “However, Spotlight’s technology can sift through those resources and prioritize the recommendations based on a student’s specific data.”

    In theory, teachers could build individual reports for each student, but the process would be arduous and time consuming, taking valuable time away from instruction. “Instead,” Fee shares, “software can ingest data from a variety of sources and identify areas of confirmation or contradiction. It makes the same recommendations an expert would because we consult with district or state leaders on what should be prescribed. But the software does it a million times over in very short order.”

    The result is more transparency for families and caregivers who are eager to engage and collaborate with their schools and support improved learning outcomes, regardless of background or the language spoken at home.

    Communication that accelerates learning

    In the above scenario, with a gap between test results and classroom assignments, the existing software might highlight that contradiction for the teacher or building leader. However, software like Spotlight’s can outline that contradiction for the parent, point to some preliminary resources, and suggest they meet with their student’s teacher to make sure the student is appropriately challenged by class work. The video or written report is delivered through the existing parent communication portal.

    “The teachers don’t have to take any extra steps,” Fee states. “The parent simply accesses that data by clicking on a link. They’re told a story they can act on: ‘Here’s how your student is doing, here’s what you should really pay attention to, and here’s how you can support your student.’”

    Internal surveys conducted by Spotlight show that families receiving this communication better understand what their child is doing in school and can more confidently speak with their child’s teacher.

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  • Pearson Acquires Navvy Education’s Innovative Classroom Assessment System

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    Navigate the learning journey with confidence!

    The disruption in student learning caused by COVID-19 and the ongoing challenges faced by schools and districts have inspired us to double down on our commitment to provide classroom assessments that offer more useful and reliable information to students, families, and educators.

    One significant step we’ve taken is the acquisition of Navvy Education which includes a diagnostic classroom assessment system that uses a unique design to pinpoint student needs on individual standards. Navvy’s technology is helping teachers and students navigate learning by providing an accurate, detailed, and real-time picture of student progress. Its reporting furnishes actionable data not provided by typical formative, interim, or summative assessments.

    Save time and guide learning with accurate results.

    In short, Navvy’s design gives teachers the ability to assess students for standard competencies right after instruction rather than weeks (or even months) later. Student results reflect their “Competency/Needs Support” status for individual academic standards, allowing the teacher to tailor instruction for the students who need further learning before moving on to the next concept.

    Classroom formative assessment is a key component of a balanced assessment system, providing information that guides teachers in their planning. However, the quality of teacher decisions is only as good as the quality of the assessment data from which those decisions are based. This is where Navvy is different. Navvy includes rigorous assessment content, a unique assessment design, and a sophisticated psychometric model for improved reliability and utility of results.

    Navvy’s design is based on three key principles:

    • Results must be accurate
    • Results must be actionable
    • Results must be immediate

    Founded in 2017 by Dr. Laine Bradshaw, Navvy was created by Dr. Bradshaw and her team in close collaboration with educators and district leaders. Navvy’s innovative approach is supported by Dr. Bradshaw’s research as an associate professor of Quantitative Methodology in Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia.

    “We designed Navvy to provide a new approach to assessment that informs personalized learning in the classroom on a regular basis. We’re excited to continue and expand this work as a part of Pearson. As we reimagine the important role assessments play in a learner’s academic journey, we’ve moved away from traditional accountability measures and are focusing on the student to promote healthy learning mindsets and provide educators with the data-driven tools needed to accelerate learning.”

        – Dr. Laine Bradshaw, Founder of Navvy

    By marrying the technical quality of Navvy’s assessment system with Pearson’s longstanding ability to deliver assessments to millions of students, we are ready to provide states and districts across the nation with a solution that works.

    “As learning experiences continue to evolve, we’re prepared to forge new trails of innovation and meet these new challenges and opportunities. By investing in new and existing services to better assess and communicate about learning progress, we’re also investing in the potential of every student.”

        – Trent Workman, Senior Vice President School Assessments

    This addition to our assessment portfolio has great potential to help K–12 districts make better decisions when instructional time is at a premium and get a full picture of each student’s learning progress. We are excited to join forces with Dr. Bradshaw and her team and to add Navvy’s technology to our leading portfolio of assessment services!

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