Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Vendor Invitation: Demonstration of Assessment System

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Learning Services
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Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators; CTE Coordinator (COOPs and regular school districts)

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Memo Text

The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is currently reviewing options for a statewide summative assessment in grades 3-8 and High School.  DESE is seeking to partner with one or more highly competent organizations to develop and implement an innovative, 21st century balanced assessment system with the primary objective of directly supporting improved teaching and learning. DESE envisions an assessment that will meet all federal requirements regarding assessment and accountability while providing educators with real-time data that can be used to make instructional decisions. 

A focus group of stakeholders has been formed to provide input on assessment design and usage needs.  No more than 6 vendors will be selected to present an assessment system to the focus group on July 21 or 22, 2021.  The purpose of this demonstration is to provide insight on available state assessment options for ELA, math, and/or science.  The system must be able to assess ELA and math yearly in grades 3-8 and at least once in 9-12 and science at least once per grade band 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12 as required by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  Vendors may address the components separately or together in any combination. 

Demonstrations may include, but are not limited to, through-year assessments, summative assessments, end-of-course assessments, and supporting infrastructure and services. These components constitute key parts of a balanced instructional and assessment system.  When supplemented by external accountability, the assessment system is a key driver for increased equity and student achievement.  DESE is interested in a well-coordinated solution across all components that will provide ease of use to districts and ease of contract supervision by DESE.  A formal procurement of a state assessment system will be conducted at a later time.  

Preference for demonstrations will be given to potential partners who can meet the following criteria:

  • The assessment system is aligned with Arkansas Academic Standards for ELA, math, and science;
  • The assessment system has met, or is in the process of meeting, criteria for ED Assessment Peer Review;
  • The ELA assessment includes a writing component;
  • The assessment includes questions of varied cognitive complexity; and/or
  • The science assessment is given yearly in grades 3-8.

Interested vendors should contact Hope Worsham at to be considered for a demonstration

NOTE: ACT Aspire will remain the Arkansas summative assessment for grades 3-10 through the 2021-2022 school year and possibly 2022-2023 based on stakeholder feedback and assessment options.


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