ENA, CoSN, and eLearn Institute Unveil Suite of Resources to Prepare School Districts for New Online Assessments

Resources – Including New White Paper, Case Studies and Readiness Checklist – Provide Recommendations and Best Practices to Help Districts ‘Raise the Bar’
Washington, DC
Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Washington, DC (February 19, 2014) – Education Networks of America (ENA), in collaboration with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and eLearn Institute, today released a rich suite of resources that outlines key considerations and steps school districts should take to prepare for online assessments. The resources, which include a white paper, case studies of three school districts, frequency asked questions (FAQs) and answers, and readiness recommendations and checklist, provide invaluable information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (Smarter Balanced) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) upcoming online assessments.

The groups recently held a webinar discussion with leaders from Smarter Balanced, PARCC, and the profiled districts, as well as ENA, eLearn Institute, and CoSN to discuss the report and related resources. Click here to listen.

“Preparing for online assessments is one of the highest priorities for school districts across the nation and one of the most complex challenges they face,” remarked Keith R. Krueger, CoSN CEO. “To support districts’ efforts, these powerful resources equip school leaders with not just information, but also real insight, experiences and best practices based on how other districts are preparing.”

“Being assessment ready goes beyond just purchasing devices, and it establishes a fundamental intersection between instruction and technology. We learned that online assessments are a catalyst for personalized learning, and assessment readiness is an important point of emphasis for all districts in their strategic planning. We are proud to partner with CoSN and eLearn Institute to move the needle and prepare districts,” stated Lillian Kellogg, Vice President, ENA.

The resources include several key elements, which are outlined in an executive summary:

  • White Paper, titled “Raising the BAR: Becoming Assessment Ready,” highlights the purpose and value of online assessments and provides detailed information on the assessment consortia implementation plans as well as network infrastructure, device, support and instructional design, and preparation considerations. 
  • Case Studies of three school districts – Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in TN, Metropolitan School District of Warren Township in IN, and West Side School District in ID – capturing experiences, recommendations, and best practices of large, medium and small school districts as they prepare for online assessments.
  • FAQs based off a survey of school districts across the country on their assessment ready concerns; the responses were collated and combined into questions then posed to Smarter Balanced and PARCC with their responses.
  • Readiness Recommendations and Checklist is based on observations from the case studies and interviews with experts and feedback from the consortia and provides eight key considerations and suggestions for assessment readiness.

“We know the considerable challenges that district leaders face in preparing for these new technology-based assessments. I know that my colleagues will find this robust suite of resources helpful. The checklist, in particular, helps school districts learn from the experiences and key observations of other school districts as well as establish a planning process that is intentional and comprehensive,” commented lead author, Dr. Tom Ryan, CEO, eLearn Institute, and former CIO of Albuquerque Public Schools, NM.

To access the resources, please visit: www.cosn.org/raisingthebar or www.ena.com/raisingthebar.

Representatives from ENA, CoSN, and eLearn Institute are available for further comment.


About Education Networks of America (ENA)

ENA is the leading provider of managed Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions to school systems, libraries and governments. In 1996, ENA created one of the first statewide K-12 networks in the U.S. and has earned a reputation as experts in the design, deployment and management of data, voice and video solutions. Today, ENA manages multiple statewide and district-wide education and library networks, including 11 of the largest school systems in the country, successfully serving over 5,200 end sites, 555 school districts and 295 libraries, more than 2.5 million students, educators and administrators, and 3.6 million librarians and patrons. For more information, please visit http://www.ena.com.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit www.cosn.org or call 866-267-08747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam.

About eLearn Institute

The eLearn Institute is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to transforming education through the effective use of digital learning tools. The central focus of the institute is to help schools and districts design, build, and “own” their eLearning programs. The eLearn Institute understands that having the right digital tools is one half of the challenge that educators and schools face, and using these tools effectively to building transformative educational models that support great learning is the other half of the challenge. The institute assists schools to create a facilitated community of online educators to share best practices, effective learning models, and new ideas specific to online and blended learning. For more information, please visit http://www.elearninstitute.org.


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