• ABEC 2019 Annual Conference




    Arizona Student Achievement Testing

    Where Are We Going and Why Are We Going There?


    I have to tell you that the ABEC Conference was a HUGE success! Folks were engaged, the speakers were excellent and the organization of the event was superior! The topic theme was timely and very much appreciated. Thanks for drilling down to what’s really going on in public education.”

    "I've endured many boring, if not pointless panels and keynotes, and Friday's was by a mile, the best!”

    "ABEC does have such a critical role in the workforce development ecosystem! Your program and the structure of the day was timely.  Accountability and student progress is so very critical.  I look forward to more conversations!"

    “I am also heartened by organizations such as ABEC as you strive to tie together education and the business community—I applaud you and your team for the great work you’re doing.”



  • "8/10 jobs require post-secondary education."

    James Ogsbury, Executive Director, Western Governors' Association  (Mr. Ogsbury's bio)

    View Mr. Ogsbury's slide deck here.

    View the WGA Workforce Development Initiative 3 min video here. 

    View the WGA Workforce Development Policy Resolutions some of which Mr. Ogsbury referenced during his remarks here. 

    Click here for Mr. Ogsbury's remarks (29.01 minutes)



    "Equity: The lens through which we should view everything." 

    Rose Owens-West, Equity Program Director, WestED  (Dr. Owens-West's bio) 

    View Dr. Owens-West's slide deck entitled "Understanding Equity: Measuring what Matters here. 

    Click here for Dr. Owens-West's remarks (21.35 minutes)

  • "Assessments are not a measure of our teachers and schools. Poverty predicts outcomes more accurately than test scores!"

    David C. Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus and former Dean,  Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University  (Dr. Berliner's bio)

    View Dr. Berliner's slide deck entitled "What you don't know about assessment is killing public education!here. 

    Click here for Dr. Berliner's remarks (41.43 minutes)


    And there's more....

    View Ted Dintersmith's The Future of Work 3 min video, which opened the conference, here. 

    To further expand your understanding of and reflection on Assessments, check out the readings suggested by the speakers and panelists here. 

    Explore the school districts Dr. Stephen Murphy referenced here:

    • Westminster Public Schools, CO, case study
    • Oxford Public Schools, MS website link 
    • Virginia website link.  The Profile of the Virginia Graduate is unveiled with the "5 C's": critical thinking, creative thinking, communication,collaboration, and citizenship skills. 


    Afternoon table talk in response to "What are the action steps for ABEC?  ...for yourself?  ...your community?  ...for the State?" 

    • Work with other groups / stakeholders to develop a common understanding and message to the effect that assessments need to be used for their intended purpose -- not to assign letter grades (A-F) to schools or to reward and/or punish teachers. 
    • Choose an assessment that provides consistent data, and use it to provide ONE piece of information in conjunction with the multiple measures provided by the Decision Institute. 


  • Can you guess who said it? 

    Morning Panel:

    What is the role of assessments?  Are Arizona's assessments providing a continuous culture of achievement for both students and educators? 

    "Hotels.com tells us more about hotels than A-F tells us about our schools." 

    "You have to take care of Maslow before you take care of Madeline." 

    "How do you assess a learning environment that actually prioritizes the things that we really want?" 

    "... be careful with the mantra that not everyone needs to go to 4 year college, BUT, it is becoming no one needs to go to 4 year college.”  College enrollment  is down nationally and in Arizona, only 16% of Arizonans have a 4 year degree.

    "If you believe that individual teachers can have equal ability to impact all the assessment measures... and 

    If you believe that every context is the same and all children are the same... and

    If you believe that curriculum and instruction is the same for all students in lockstep... and

    If you believe assessments are measuring the right outcomes and they are not biased or dependent on socio-economic status then... YES!" 



    John Arnold, Executive Director, Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) (Click for John's remarks, 7:05 minutes)

    Carole Basile, Professor and Dean, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University (click for Carole's remarks, 8:10 minutes)

    Tim Carter, Superintendent, Yavapai County Schools and former President, State Board of Education  (click for Tim's remarks, 8:50 minutes)

    David S. Clukey, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army Special Forces and former U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Commander (click for David's remarks  9:08 minutes)

    Joe Thomas, President, Arizona Education Association (click for Joe's remarks, 8:52 minutes)

    Moderator:  James K. Zaharis, Executive Vice President, Arizona Business & Education Coalition (ABEC) 


    Click here for the questions posed to the panelists.          


    Afternoon Panel:

    What are assessments supposed to do?  Are more frequent, high quality assessments an essential part of both student and faculty success that can help us better focus and direct precious resources as well?

    Toni Badone, Regional Director, Cognia (formerly AdvancED/Measured Progress) (click for Toni's remarks 5:20 minutes)

    Karla Fisher, Provost, Maricopa County Community Colleges (click for Karla's remarks  4:19 minutes)   

    Chad Gestson, Superintendent, Phoenix Union High School District (click for Chad's remarks  6:42 minutes)

    Scott Griego, State Solutions Advisor, State and Government Partnerships, NWEA (click for Scott's remarks  4:37 minutes)

    Randy Kimmens, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Futures, Inc. (click for Randy's remarks  7:33 minutes)

    Manuel Valenzuela, Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified School District (click for Manny's remarks  6:05 minutes)

    Moderator: Darcy Renfro, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor, and Director of Workforce Development, Maricopa County Community Colleges.

    Click here for the questions posed to the panelists. 


    THANK YOU to our SPONSORS!!!




  • "We need to be thinking beyond the measurement of knowledge to assess the whole child -- a "balanced assessment."

    Stephen Murphy, Chief Assessment Officer, Cognia (formerly Measured Progress/AdvancED)   (Dr. Murphy's bio) 

    View Dr. Murphy's slide deck here. 

    Click here for Dr. Murphy's remarks (28.25 minutes). 


    The idea of the Center is to take all we know about education and its data and marry it with ASU’s knowledge in computer science, modeling,etc. and use that to carefully define problems, based on facts and data and define practical solutions and workable options for the field.

    Joe O'Reilly, Director, Decision Center for Educational Excellence, Arizona State University  (Dr. O'Reilly's bio)

    View Dr. O'Reilly's slide deck here.

    Click here for Dr. O'Reilly's remarks (18.36 minutes)

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