I am writing to share information regarding the National Association of Assessment Directors (NAAD), an organization composed of current and former assessment managers in schools, school districts, regional education organizations, regional federal educational laboratories/centers, companies that develop, score and manage assessments, university faculty and administrators, and assessment policy makers. I have not named all of the areas in which our colleagues work or have served, but the point in naming the categories was to remind us that we are a diverse group with a wide range of experiences.
The things that draw us together are our mutual interests and concerns regarding quality assessment and how assessment information is used. Historically the National Association of Test Directors has observed the evolution of the work our colleagues perform in K-12 settings from roles of counting, administering and sending tests off for scoring to their engagement in the development of benchmark, informal, formative and other assessments called by different names to provide periodic snapshots of student performance that could be used in schools and districts to predict performance on NCLB assessments being used for accountability purposes.
Our NATD members voted during the winter of 2015 to not only update the name of our organization but also to reassess our brand for 2016 and the future. Bonnie Strykowski and Sherry Rose Bond are co-chairing our NAAD Brand Committee and have been holding focus group meetings with assessment colleagues in school districts to help us define the work of NAAD moving forward. This year as a part of our outreach efforts we began sending to you a monthly edition of Assessment News Briefs, which focuses on new developments, technological advances and perspectives on assessment both nationally and internationally.
NAAD Board Member Ray Hart is overseeing a contract for the development of a new NAAD website (which we go live in March 2016) which will feature the new NAAD logo, updated information and an interactive feature which will allow those with assessment-related questions to connect with folk who have expertise in an area of need to assist with problem-solving. We will also offer several webinars on assessment topics each year that address specific issues of practice and new ways of thinking.
We are stepping it up and moving forward to be an organization that reaches out to its members and that members can reach out to for support and guidance. Join us in our quest to become a more vibrant and engaged constituency for quality assessment development and use. Renew/initiate your NAAD membership and vote in our upcoming elections to help us continue to move NAAD forward!