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Technical Assistance

Next Generation Assessment and Accountability Systems: Strategic Development and Technical Assistance

WestEd works with states, districts, and schools to ensure standards, assessments, and/or accountability programs, policies, and systems are in place to support K-12 student learning. Our strategic plans are customized and incorporate evidence-based approaches.

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Who Will Benefit

  • State Education Agencies
  • District/County Education Agencies
  • Schools or School Clusters, K-12

Service Details

WestEd’s Strategic Development and Technical Assistance (SD&TA) team partners with states and school districts to help ensure that standards, assessments, and/or accountability programs, policies, and systems are in place to support student learning.

This effort is intended to support state and local jurisdictions with meeting accountability expectations emerging from reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Every Student Succeeds Act).

The SD&TA team works with clients to identify needs, challenges, and goals, and to develop a customized strategic plan that reflects client priorities and incorporates evidence-based approaches. Through the process, we help clients enhance their internal capacity in this important area of work.

Service Format

The SD&TA team, housed in WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, & Accountability Services program, provides tailored assistance based on each client’s unique context and needs. In general, we offer three levels of service:

  • Strategy Consultation: At the least intensive level, the SD&TA team will work with clients to identify their goals and objectives, priorities, and potential challenges to meeting their goals. This work takes place through one to three in-person or virtual meetings, with research-based support (e.g., policy summaries, scans of states’ implementation practices, research reviews) provided to help guide decision-making.
  • Development of Processes and Protocols: At the next level, the SD&TA team will build on the strategy consultation to help clients set a timeline for meeting their goals and objectives, and develop processes and protocols to guide their work. This service level includes stakeholder identification, development of facilitation guides, agenda development, and implementation frameworks. To inform decision-making, stakeholder input or feedback may be collected through a survey or focus group discussion.
  • Partnered Implementation: At the deepest level of support, SD&TA team members will support implementation and refinement of the developed processes through the entire timeframe of the project, providing formative evaluation and coaching to leadership team members to help build on-site capacity for continuing and scaling up the work.

What Makes This Service Unique

Through WestEd’s experience leading the federal Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center (AACC) and the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) , we have developed the deep expertise needed to provide tailored guidance and technical assistance in the design, development, and implementation of innovative, comprehensive assessment and accountability systems.

WestEd’s SD&TA team includes members who have between 10 and 35 years of experience at the state, district, and/or school leadership levels. They also have deep technical expertise in the implementation of accountability systems that are grounded in rigorous college and career readiness standards and feature effective use of data from summative and interim assessments as well as formative tools and processes.

In addition, team members have extensive experience with responding to peer review findings, developing and implementing federal and state accountability systems, and evaluating measures of student achievement and growth.

Drawing on our collective experience, we leverage our knowledge of the policy landscape and of current national implementation practices to help develop strategic solutions for our clients. For example, in our role as leaders of the AACC and CSAI, we have:

  • Helped states from every region develop assessment systems reflecting state policies and best practice
  • Served on state assessment-and-accountability advisory committees
  • Provided support for state education agencies on educator effectiveness and district accountability

What Research Informs the Work

The SD&TA team’s services are informed by federal and local policy guidelines and research on standards, assessment, and accountability services for states and districts, including the Peer Review of State Assessment Systems Non-Regulatory Guidance for States (U.S. Department of Education, 2015), the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 2014), and the National Research Council’s Knowing What Students Know (2002).


Costs vary, depending on

  • Level of service
  • How many team members are needed to complete the service
  • Distance and frequency of travel needed

Learn More

To learn more, please contact Bryan Hemberg at 510.302.4298 or