ASG assists South Carolina in determining future state assessment costs


March 24, 2012

Assessment Solutions Group (ASG) recently completed an engagement with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) where the company assisted the state in determining costs for potential future state assessments under a number of different scenarios.

South Carolina is interested in implementing a new assessment system, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, when its current contracts for assessment services conclude in 2012/2013. Under a special contract with the SCDE, ASG calculated potential state assessment costs to implement a new assessment in 2015 under several different scenarios:


  1. Implement one of the consortia based assessments (PARCC or SBAC)
  2. Develop and implement a “PARCC or SBAC like” assessment system on their own
  3. Develop a South Carolina unique (“homegrown”)assessment system
  4. Create an assessment system using a combination of a state developed assessment for elementary grades and an  “off the shelf” product for high school grades


For each of the above scenarios, ASG estimated the total assessment system costs under 3 different technology readiness conditions, where the state is:


  1. Fully technologically ready in year one
  2. Phased implementation of computer based testing over 3 years
  3. Use of a paper and pencil based assessment system for 3 years


In January 2012, ASG presented the results of its analysis to the South Carolina Board of Education and the Board then made its recommendation in its February meeting. One of the benefits to South Carolina of using ASG to conduct this cost study was that it allowed the state to have an independent 3rd party, with significant expertise in assessment costing, determine the potential costs for each assessment system they were considering in advance.   This helped the Board make an informed decision on the best assessment to use in the future. 


More News items:


  1. ASG is awarded contract to write RFP for Mississippi
  2. ASG assists PARCC with revised costing for common assessment
  3. ASG included on winning bid for new ELPA21 assessment consortium
  4. ASG is part of the team working on NCSC….  ASG assisting NCSC with governance and cost issues.
  5. ASG gets contract with ASAP to evaluate AI scoring programs


Arizona Department of Education chooses ASG to assist in developing an RFP for a new English language proficiency assessment


January 28, 2011

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) today awarded ASG a contract to work with its Office of English Language Acquisition Services to write the scope of work and evaluation methodology for a request for proposal for revised English Language Learner proficiency assessment(s) based on Arizona’s revised English language proficiency standards (2011).

ASG will closely work with the Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition Services to determine the requirements for this scope of work and RFP evaluation. The ADE seeks to use a performance-based RFP for this procurement of the revised assessment(s) and ASG will assist the department in developing such a scope of work. This work, to be completed in -February 2011, will then be used by the ADE in an RFP to be issued by February 28, 2011.


ASG issues whitepaper on next generation assessment platform development recommendations


January 25, 2011

Today ASG issued a whitepaper titled “Online Assessment Platform Development Recommendations: Building the Next Generation Assessment Platform -The Consortia Opportunity.” This paper outlines:


  • The context for the next generation Common Assessment Platform initiative
  • Perspectives on the power of current / future technology to transform assessment
  • Key technology trends that could influence the design of the Assessment Platform
  • A three-phased “approach for success” in developing and deploying the new Assessment Platform
  • A management structure required for ensuring success in the development effort


Development of the next generation platform for delivering future assessments, if managed well, should result in a transformative change in the way assessment is thought about and delivered. Building such a system for the near-term and foreseeable future will be an extremely complex undertaking particularly with the quickly evolving education and technology landscape.

An estimated 50% of all software development projects fail. Often this is the result of beginning IT projects without first:


  • Having a high-level but clear picture/vision of the future solution;
  • Addressing the broader-based business (vs. technology) questions around functionality and features (business requirements - how will it work, what will it do and not do in the school environment)
  • Ensuring that all key stakeholders agree with the project direction and key functionality
  • Developing a plan that includes a timeline, initial estimated costs, activities, and accountabilities
  • Then beginning the work of designing the solution and implementation which is where the technology questions are answered


It is critical that the consortia take the right management steps to ensure the development of the platform is successful. In starting the development of the next generation assessment platform, it is critical to first have a rigorously analyzed set of business requirements, a management structure, with dedicated resources, to oversee the work, and a proven methodology for technology development. This whitepaper outlines, what we believe to be, a successful methodology and management structure to approach the development of the next generation assessment platform.

ASG to Draft RFP for New Kentucky Science Assessment


September 5, 2014

ASG announced today that it will draft the RFP for Kentucky’s new Science assessment expected to be administered in either 2016-17 or 2017-18. The state is designing a new, high quality Science assessment based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that will be comprised of classroom-based assessments, interim assessments, and a summative assessment. The purpose of this first RFP is to procure a Vendor that can serve as a thought leader and assist the state in general and specific thought processes for the design of a system of new science assessments that meet the Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS) based solely on the NGSS. The Vendor will partner with the state to think through all the issues, provide guidance to the state on the most appropriate test designs to use, and develop an assessment framework and item/test specifications that will guide item development and assessment implementation in the future. In Fall 2015, an RFP will also be drafted by ASG for KY, and issued for the actual development and administration of the assessment system. ASG will also provide vendor cost analysis services for the state.


ASG Completes Vendor Cost Analysis and Negotiation Services for PARCC Assessment Consortium – Saves Consortium States Tens of Millions of Dollars


June 11, 2014

ASG announced the completion of several pricing and negotiating services with the PARCC Assessment Consortium today.  First, ASG participated in the PARCC Pricing Challenge late in 2013. ASG worked with the consortium to make design changes to the summative assessment that would not impact the fidelity of the assessment but would enable the state price for the exam to be more affordable to its members. ASG modeled the effects of the design changes using its Assessment Cost Model and PARCC determined the changes it would implement. Next, ASG worked with PARCC and co-authored the financial section of its RFP for a vendor to deliver the first year operational assessment. Finally, ASG analyzed the vendor response to the RFP for assessment services and worked with the consortium on strategies to reduce the price of the test for its member states. Ultimately, these various activities saved PARCC member states roughly $10/student in reduced price of the test.


ASG to Present Results of 2013-14 State Assessment Survey during CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment in June


May 15, 2014

ASG will present the results of its 2013-2014 State Assessment Survey during the upcoming CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment to be held this June. The purpose of the survey is to give states visibility as to how their peers are handling a host of issues related to implementing the next generation of assessments in the 2014/2015 administrative year. The survey covers both qualitative and quantitative features of the state’s assessment programs and the company has been conducting the survey since 2011. The presentation will cover such topics as how states are implementing new technology delivery systems, status of consortium membership, security concerns, other technology concerns and quality issues in state assessments, as well as a breakdown of participating state assessment costs, by subject area, consortium membership and assessment type. Roughly 40 states participate in the annual survey.


ASG Study for Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) to be a Chapter in Linda Darling-Hammonds Latest Book


May 1, 2014

ASG learned today that a study it completed for SCOPE last year will be a separate chapter in a new book coming out later this year. The study looked at the combined funding states and district spend on assessments and proposed strategies for more effective investment in a state assessment system.

The book will be titled: Beyond the Bubble Test (See Chapter 9: “Investing in Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Tests that Help Students Learn” by Barry Topol, John Olson, Edward Roeber, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Frank Adamson).  JULY 2014


ASG Issues Report on the Cost of Machine Scoring of Student Essays


February 18, 2014

ASG announced the publication of a new report today “ASAP Pricing Study- Machine Scoring of Student Essays” on the costs of machine scoring of student essays. The study, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is part of the Automated Student Assessment Price (ASAP) previously announced and funded by the foundation. The paper compares the cost of machine vs. human scoring of student essays. Machine scoring of student essays holds tremendous promise in making higher quality assessments cost affordable to states and consortia of states. 

The purpose of the study is to compare the costs of machine vs. human scoring and provide guidance to procurers of machine scoring services in structuring their RFPs. A link to the paper is in the publications tab of this website.


ASG Issues State Newsletter on State Assessment Survey Results


January 21, 2014

Today, ASG issued its 3rd Newsletter to states on the results of its recent state assessment survey. ASG began surveying states in 2011 on various trends in the assessment area and how states are dealing with them. Forty two states participated in the survey, which focused on how states are planning for the implementation of the next generation of assessments in 2014-2015. Participants in the survey received a database of all survey data as well as charts and graphs depicting state assessment spending information.

August 1, 2015


ASG to Assist Maine Department of Education with RFP for Maine Educational Assessment and Provide Vendor Cost Analysis Services


ASG and the Maine Department of Education announced an agreement today for ASG to review and provide input on its soon to be released RFP for assessment services related to the new Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) Math and English Language Arts/Literacy Assessment. ASG will review the RFP and provide input to ensure that the state’s fiduciary interests are protected. Additionally, ASG will provide its cost sheets for inclusion in the RFP for assessment services and provide cost analysis of the vendor proposals to administer the assessment.  ASG has saved states over $100 Million since 2010 in providing cost analysis services.


ASG Helps Mississippi Save $12 million by Proving Vendor Cost Analysis and Vendor Negotiations Services


April 10, 2015

ASG announced today that it recently completed its work for the Mississippi Department of Education in providing assessment cost analysis and vendor negotiation services related to the Department’s recently issued RFP for a new summative assessment in ELA and Mathematics and end-of-course assessments in Algebra I and English II. By using ASG to provide vendor cost analysis and vendor negotiation services, Mississippi was able to save $12 when negotiating the final contract price with the selected assessment vendor.  ASG had previously written the RFP for assessment design and implementation services so it was well versed in the details of the Mississippi program.


ASG to Moderate Presentation on Lessons Learned in Implementing High Quality Assessment Systems at June CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment


March 25, 2015

ASG announced today that it will be moderating a 90 minute session on “lessons learned in implementing high quality assessment systems” during the June CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment in San Diego. Four states, Idaho, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio will present lessons learned in implementing their new high quality assessment systems in the recently concluded 2014-2015 testing year. A wide variety of topics will be covered including implementing high quality assessment systems that respond to states needs, using new technology delivery systems to assess students, working one’s way through political issues in developing new assessment programs, as well as implementing new assessment systems as part of an assessment consortium and as a single state.


ASG Releases State Assessment Survey Results to Participating States


March 19, 2015

ASG issued two reports outlining the findings of its 2014-2015 state assessment system to participating states today. The purpose of the survey is to give states visibility as to how their peers are handling a host of issues related to implementing the next generation of assessments in the 2014-2015 administrative year. The reports outline the qualitative and quantitative features of the state assessment survey that ASG has been conducting since 2011 and provide a wealth of data to participating states. The qualitative report covers topics such as how states are implementing new technology delivery systems, status of consortium membership, security concerns, other technology concerns, and quality issues in state assessments. The quantitative report provides a breakdown of participating state assessment costs, by subject area, consortium membership and assessment type. Roughly 40 states participate in the annual survey.


ASG to Assist PARCC Consortium with Assessment Quality Assurance Analysis


February 2, 2015

ASG and PARCC, Inc. announced today that ASG would be providing the consortium with assessment quality monitoring services for its summative assessment in Math and ELA. ASG will be assisting the consortium with a quality review of all phases of its assessment program from item development to scoring and distribution of results.  PARCC’s assessment contract with its vendor required an in depth quality plan be submitted as soon as feasible. ASG reviewed the plan and provided input to PARCC, Inc. in January. Subsequent to the review, the consortium decided to engage ASG to perform actual quality monitoring services. The contract runs from February to the end of the year.


ASG to Draft Mississippi RFP for Summative Assessments in Math and ELA and Provide Cost Analysis and Vendor Negotiation Services


October 2, 2014

ASG and the Mississippi Department of Education announced today that ASG will draft the state’s upcoming RFP for summative assessments in Math and ELA and end-of-course assessments in Algebra I and English II, as well as providing the evaluation rubrics, state vendor cost analysis, and negotiation services. ASG will include its custom cost sheets in the RFP for assessment services and evaluate the vendors proposed costs for several optional services.  Once the vendor proposals have been received and ranked, ASG will analyze the top vendors proposed costs and assist the Department in negotiating the most favorable price with the selected vendor.

ASG selected to provide RFP development and vendor RFP cost analysis services for the Kentucky Department of Education


November 5, 2010

Today, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) selected ASG to provide assessment development services for its all-new 2012 assessment system. ASG will provide KDE its vendor cost input worksheets that will be included as part of its RFP for assessment system development and administration services. In addition, ASG will use its proprietary assessment cost model to analyze the vendor RFP cost responses, ensure vendors are bidding “apples to apples” solutions and help KDE select the vendor with the best quality/price proposal.

Last year, ASG assisted KDE in designing its new assessment system and in determining the appropriate cost of the new system. This year’s work represents the logical next step in creating Kentucky’s new assessment system and securing its development at an appropriate price. KDE selected ASG to run multiple analysis on elements of an assessment system proposed from multiple vendors, including item development, composition, production and manufacturing, warehousing/shipping, psychometrics, scoring/editing, reporting, program management, quality assurance and information technology. The analysis will be used to provide an independent verification of the vendor cost proposals. Reports will include complete financial analysis of costing proposals.


ASG awarded contract for assessment system services with the Colorado Department of Education.


October 7, 2010

ASG has been selected as the provider of several different assessment services for the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) in support of the development of its new 2013 assessment system. This balanced assessment system will be based on the new standards adopted by the state that are clearer, fewer, more focused and more rigorous than prior versions of state standards. The new assessment system will emphasize 21st century skills including critical thinking and reasoning, information literacy, collaboration, self-direction and inventiveness.

ASG will assist CDE in implementing the design of its new assessments. An overview of the costs and technical merits of assessment system components and delivery modes (cost menu) will be provided so CDE can make high level assessment design decisions. ASG will provide RFP development services, including its proprietary vendor cost submission worksheets, as well as a model to evaluate the vendor RFP cost responses. CDE selected ASG as the provider of Assessment System Services for its new assessment system because ASG is the only organization in the country with an experienced technical assessment team AND a detailed industry cost model that can be used to determine the appropriate price for assessments.


CCSSO TILSA and ASES SCASS groups select ASG to perform a cost study of six states Alternate Assessment systems


September 29, 2010

Working with the ASES and TILSA SCASS groups, the Assessment Solutions Group (ASG) will conduct a detailed and comprehensive set of studies of the costs for state alternate assessment programs (grades 3-8) in six volunteer states toward identifying ways to make these assessments more cost effective and efficient, as well as providing information and a tool to help states evaluate the costs of potential new alternate assessments. The “1%” or alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) used in states will be the primary focus of the studies.

ASG will work with CCSSO and the SCASS members to study the efficacy of assessment costs, different AA-AAS models in use, and various operational procedures across the states. ASG will gather actual program cost data and will evaluate the different alternate assessment models and describe the features and factors impacting their costs. The results from the cost study will be summarized in a final report and shared with all ASES and TILSA states.


ASG publishes new report entitled Guidelines for Organizing and Leading a State Consortium.


August 26, 2010

With a grant from the Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation, ASG has written and published a report that will be very useful to states as they participate in a RTTA common assessment consortium based on its hands-on experience in developing and managing state assessment consortia. In the Guidelines for Organizing and Leading a State Consortium, a set of guidelines was developed for states to address as they develop assessment implementation plans. Guidelines for states are addressed and discussed in the following areas:


  • How to manage a group of states and develop governance principles for the consortium;
  • How states with variability in the experience and capacity of state assessment staff can effectively and collaboratively utilize their in-house expertise;
  • How states with different assessment purposes can work together in a mutually beneficial manner;
  • How to approach a variety of technical issues, such as equating and linking the new assessments to the current ones in order to report scores on the same scale;
  • How to document validity, such as establishing content and construct validity or conducting studies of predictive validity;
  • How to jointly establish performance standards for use by all states;
  • How to approach security issues common across states;
  • How to resolve ownership issues when a group of states share in the development of items and test forms;
  • How different states’ item release policies may affect technical design decisions such as field testing and equating models, and costs for continuous item development and replacement;
  • How states can ensure the feasibility, practicality and sustainability of the project; and
  • How states can monitor and control costs.


ASG to Deliver Two Presentations at the National Conference on Student Assessment in Detroit June 20-23


May 23, 2010

Assessment Solutions Group announced today that it will be delivering two presentations at the upcoming CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment in Detroit June 20 – 23. The first presentation will provide an overview of the work ASG did with Linda Darling-Hammond and Stanford University, funded by the Nellie Mae Foundation, to determine the costs of new high quality assessments. As part of the session, Ms. Darling-Hammond will present an overview of her and other authors’ work in the area of performance assessment. The various studies on performance assessments she will review were published on the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) website earlier this year. ASG will present an overview of the work they did to develop strategies to enable a consortium of states to implement a high quality assessment at a cost roughly equal to that of a current, typical state assessment. The session will be moderated by Nicholas Donohue, President & CEO of the Nellie Mae Foundation who funded the study.


The second session is titled “Getting the Most Value for Your Assessment Dollar – Designing Adapting and Maintaining Quality Assessment Programs During Tough Economic Times” and will provide strategies and recommendations as to how states and state consortia can use cost modeling services and other operational strategies to get the most bang for their assessment dollar. Details will be shared on the cost study ASG conducted for Kentucky, their analysis of high quality assessment costs, and recommendations for states in making their assessments more cost effective and efficient.


Both presentations will be posted on the ASG website (www.assessmentgroup.org) shortly after the conference.

SMARTER/Balanced and Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness Consortia Select ASG to Assist in Determining the Cost for the Assessment and Technology Cost Components of their Proposed New Assessment Systems


April 24, 2010

Today both the SMARTER/Balanced and PARCC assessment consortia selected Assessment Solutions Group to assist them in pricing the assessment, technology and other components of their proposed new assessment systems. ASG will work with both consortia to design and price affordable assessment systems as part of the consortia response to the USED Race to the Top NIA on Comprehensive Assessment Systems. ASG will be working with the consortia to price their new proposed assessments, determine the ongoing assessment system costs, develop pricing estimates and ongoing costs for new technology systems and prepare the budget presentation packages for the NIA responses. ASG will use its proprietary assessment costing model to generate the assessment pricing scenarios for each consortium. 


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Award ASG a Grant to Perform Two Studies


March 18, 2010

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded Assessment Solutions Group a grant to conduct two studies. One study will be to work with current Foundation assessment development partners to determine the costs of new assessments being developed by the partners. ASG will use its proprietary assessment cost modeling software to determine the appropriate price for assessments being developed by the partners. The second study will be the preparation of a Guidebook for states and consortia of states to assist them in the transition from their current, single state, assessment systems to new assessment systems being administered by a consortium of states. Both studies are due to be released in June.


Stanford University and the Nellie Mae Foundation Enlist ASG to Determine the Cost of New High Quality Assessments 


December 12, 2009

ASG announced today that it is working with Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University under a grant funded by the Nellie Mae Foundation to design and determine the appropriate price for new high quality assessments. The Stanford University Center for Opportunity Progress in Education (SCOPE) has commissioned studies with six well known researchers in the area of performance assessment. Performance assessments are used to assess children in virtually all countries with high performing educational systems according to Darling-Hammond. Most educators feel the need to increase the amount of performance assessment used in the United States but are concerned with the costs of new assessments that include more performance items. While the work of the six expert researchers will focus on performance assessments themselves, ASG will be designing a high quality assessment system (with performance items), determining the price for that assessment system and comparing the price of the high quality assessment to the price of a “typical” current assessment. ASG will then examine different strategies to reduce the cost of the high quality assessment so as to be affordable to states given current budget circumstances. 
The study will be posted on the ASG website in May.


Kentucky Selects ASG to Determine Costs for Its New Assessment System 


September 1, 2009

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has selected Assessment Solutions Group to determine the cost of a new assessment system its legislature has mandated for enactment by 2012. ASG will assist the Kentucky Department of Education in designing and pricing an affordable, new assessment system consistent with legislative requirements. ASG will use its proprietary cost modeling software to determine the appropriate price for the assessment and will iterate assessment designs with the state to ensure the new assessment is affordable. The estimated cost for the new assessment system will be used by the Department of Education to help set the assessment budget for the upcoming fiscal years.


ASG to survey states on what they are doing to prepare for 2014-15 and the next generation of assessments


September 20, 2012

ASG announced today that it plans on surveying states to gather information on their plans for implementing the next generation assessment systems for the 2014/2015 school year. As states plan for implementation, ASG believes it will be helpful to have a thorough understanding of the various issues impacting state assessments, their potential impact on states, and what states are doing to manage through the various issues. Accordingly, ASG will assist states in this effort by gathering data from each state on their efforts and concerns in getting ready for 2014-2015, summarizing the information by topic and publishing the data in a format that is easy for all states to view and use. There is no cost to states for participating in this program.

ASG plans on conducting two surveys a year with topics focusing on assessment implementation, assessment technology, current state assessment structure and costs, the states role in the assessment consortia (if participating), contingency planning, etc. Topics and questions will change with each survey in order to keep the actual survey time requirement relatively short (~30 minutes*). Additionally, ASG will ask states what additional topics they would like us to include on future surveys and incorporate at least some of these questions into future surveys.

Once the survey information is gathered, ASG will summarize it in an MS Access database that will be sent to each participating state. ASG will also include the data in search-friendly formats on a password-protected section of its website (www.assessmentgroup.org).


ASG publishes paper with Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education:Getting to Higher-Quality Assessments:  Evaluating Costs, Benefits, and Investment Strategies


September 15, 2012

ASG’s Senior Partners and co-authors, Barry Topol, John Olson, and Ed Roeber, working under a grant from Stanford University, published another paper on the cost of higher quality assessments today titled “Getting to Higher-Quality Assessments:  Evaluating Costs, Benefits, and Investment Strategies.” Published in conjunction with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, the paper follows on ASG’s 2010 study for SCOPE - The Cost of New Higher Quality Assessments.

Among the many driving forces influencing state assessment, the issues of increasing assessment quality, cost of innovative assessments, lack of state funds, and increased amounts of testing are at the forefront.  Given the current financial situation in most states, there is concern that new assessment designs, such as those developed by the two new assessment consortia (SBAC and PARCC) need to be as cost-effective and efficient as possible, as well as supportive of higher-quality learning that is more comparable to assessments in high-achieving nations than the tests currently in wide use in the U.S. today.

As policymakers consider the costs of new assessment systems, it is important to understand the costs of existing testing systems that have evolved at the local as well as state levels, currently pointed at improving performance on NCLB summative tests. To examine these issues, in early 2012 ASG conducted a research effort in selected locations across the U.S. to estimate the total current assessment spending per student combining summative, interim, and formative assessment approaches now in place. ASG then compared current assessment spending for state summative and interim assessments against what a new higher-quality assessment system, that contained these types of assessments, might look like and cost.

An examination of the data indicates that higher-quality assessment systems, those that do a better job of measuring students’ critical thinking skills, should be readily affordable in today’s testing environment. The combined costs of typical state and local spending on interim and summative assessments in ELA and mathematics are in the vicinity of $35 - $55 per pupil. Based on its research, ASG concluded that a) new higher quality assessments are affordable and b) a more unified system of higher-quality assessments, combining state and district spending, could result in significant additional dollars that could be made available for an integrated system of higher-quality assessments or other educational uses.

The full paper is located in the publications section of the company’s website (www.assessmentgroup.org)


ASG completes assessment work for Colorado Department of Education: ASG Assessment Cost Model proves accurate to within 5%


May 2, 2012

ASG recently completed its work with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to provide several important services in the design, procurement and implementation of the states proposed new assessment system. The following three activities were performed for the CDE:


  1. ASG worked with the state to help design and estimate the cost of developing and administering their proposed new assessment system. This work, performed in an iterative fashion with the state assessment staff, allowed CDE to design an assessment system that not only met their quality guidelines but would also meet their anticipated budget constraints.
  2. ASG helped write a very detailed and comprehensive RFP for assessment services. A well designed and written RFP, that clearly details the assessment system requirements, is very important in providing vendors with the information they require to properly estimate the costs of developing and administering the program. This is a time intensive exercise and one where a dedicated resource can add significant value to the state.
  3. ASG evaluated the vendor cost responses to the RFP.  The state elected to use ASG’s assessment cost sheets to evaluate vendor responses and included the cost sheets as a part of the RFP. ASG then analyzed the vendors cost submissions using its Assessment Cost Model to determine if vendors understood the requirements of the RFP, were bidding “apples to apples” programs and submitted reasonable price estimates to deliver the program.


The benefits of a clearly written RFP and the use of cost modeling services to design the assessment system and evaluate the vendor responses resulted in the Colorado receiving very consistent bids, and in our opinion, pretty accurate ones based on our cost analysis, for the proposed assessment system. The state received four responses to their RFP and the spread between the high and low price bids of the finalists was only 15%! This is the lowest pricing spread we can ever recall seeing for vendor responses to develop and administer such a comprehensive assessment system. Perhaps more importantly, all of the vendors submitted programs that were in line with the state’s assessment system guidelines, highlighting the benefits of a clearly written RFP. Finally, the ASG Assessment Cost Model again proved its value having estimated the appropriate cost for the assessment to within 5%.

Per Jo O’Brien, Assistant Commissioner CDE: “We were able to issue our state RFP on time because of this intensive and substantial business relationship. Additionally, the clarity of the proposal meant that we received clear and detailed responses from the vendors.”

See Colorado’s letter of reference for ASG in the “testimonials” tab of the company website www.assessmentgroup.org

What's New

WIDA Contracts with ASG to Assist with ASSETS 2.0 Cost Modeling


December 9, 2013

WIDA and ASG announced today that the ELL Consortium has contracted with the company for cost modeling services related to its new ASSETS 2.0 assessment system. ASG will be assisting WIDA in designing a new, cost affordable assessment system for its member states. The system will consist of summative, interim and screener ELL assessments. ASG will use its Assessment Cost Model to determine the price of various assessment designs currently being modeled by the Consortium. In this way, WIDA will know that the new assessment system it designs will be affordable to its member states. ASG will also assist WIDA in the evaluation of vendor cost proposals in response to its soon to be released RFP for the implementation of the new ELP assessment.


PARCC Contracts with ASG for Vendor RFP Cost Analysis


September 10, 2013

ASG announced today that it will provide the cost sheets for vendor completion in PARCC’s soon to be released RFP for assessment services and will analyze the vendor cost submissions to the RFP. ASG will use its Assessment Cost Model to determine the appropriate price for the Consortium’s assessment. The cost sheets generate the unit based data that ASG uses to evaluate the vendor cost proposals for state assessments. ASG’s cost model has proven to be accurate to within 10% of vendor cost bids when assumptions have not been synced up and to within 5% when they have.


ASG Provides Assessment Cost Modeling Sustainability Services to the NCSC Alternate Assessment Consortium


September 12, 2013

ASG has been working with the NCSC in modeling the costs for its new assessment system. The company has provided the Consortium with numerous assessment cost cases based on the inclusion/exclusion of various assessment features and at various consortium participation rates. ASG has also been working with the Consortium on various governance models for the long-term sustainability of the new alternate assessment system.


Pennsylvania Contracts with ASG for RFP Writing, Assessment Cost Modeling, and RFP Technical and Cost Evaluation Services


June, 14 2013

ASG and the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today that the state has contracted with ASG for a variety of assessment services. ASG will assist the state in the design and cost analysis of its new assessment system, will draft the RFP for assessment services, and evaluate vendor technical and cost responses to the RFP. Pennsylvania will be implementing a new/updated assessment system composed of its current Keystone, PSSA and CDT assessments and wants to be sure that the new assessment system is affordable. ASG will analyze the costs of various assessment designs and work with the state to determine the design that provides the best value given its testing budget. ASG’s assessment cost model has proven to be accurate to within 10% of vendor bids when assumptions are not synced up and to be within 5% of vendor bids when they are.

Additionally, ASG will write the RFP for assessment services, which will combine two separate contracts into one, and will review the vendor cost and technical responses to the RFP. ASG has written dozens of RFPs for states and is experienced in writing concise and detailed RFPs that are clearly understood by the vendor community. Clear RFPs lead to more consistent pricing submissions by the vendors responding to the RFP.

Your Assessment Experts

PARCC Selects ASG to Provide Sustainability Analysis for the Consortium


February 6, 2013

PARCC has selected ASG to provide sustainability services related to its new assessment system. ASG will provide a variety of cost analyses to determine the ongoing cost of the Consortium’s new assessment system for its member states. ASG will evaluate and use its Assessment Cost Model to determine the ongoing price for the Consortium’s summative assessment under a variety of conditions.

ASG assisted both PARCC and SBAC in determining the assessment price during the original USED grant period and has continued to provide cost analysis services to the consortia on an ongoing basis.


SBAC Selects ASG to Provide Sustainability Analysis Services for its Assessment System


February 4, 2013

SBAC has selected ASG to provide sustainability services related to its new assessment system. ASG will provide a variety of cost analyses to determine the ongoing cost of the Consortium’s new assessment system for its member states. Working with McKenzie and company, ASG will evaluate and use its Assessment Cost Model to determine the ongoing price for the Consortium’s various assessments and tools (summative, interim, digital library). ASG will work with McKenzie to provide the key financial inputs to the Consortium’s sustainability model.


Mississippi Hires ASG to Write its Assessment RFP and Evaluate Vendor RFP Technical and Cost Responses to the RFP


September 27, 2012

The Mississippi Department of Education and ASG have entered into a contract for the assessment consulting company to assist the department in the development of a new assessment system. ASG will write the RFP for vendor services for Mississippi’s combined SATP and Science assessment system and evaluate vendor technical and cost responses to the RFP.

Update: ASG saved the state over 15% in its final vendor negotiations for development and administration of the new assessment system.


Participation by ASG Consultants in the 2013 CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment


Wednesday, June 19 

2013 Assessment Bootcamp – An Overview of the Practical and Technical Issues in Large-Scale Assessment Programs Noon – 4:00 pm. Overview of key aspects of large-scale assessment programs. Edward Roeber, with Vince Dean, Lou Fabrizio, and Ellen Forte 

Newcomers Session 4:15 – 5:00 pm Welcome Newcomers! An overview of the CCSSO NCSA conference for new attendees. Edward Roeber with Ellen Forte 

Thursday, June 20 

Statewide Professional Development Models for Learning About Formative Assessment8:30-10am. Edward Roeber, with Sara Bryant, Sarah McMannus, and Margaret Heritage 

Emerging Model Arts Instruction and Assessment Program in the State of Michigan 4:05- 5pm Edward Roeber, with Vince Dean and Kathy Dewsbury-White 

Preventing, Detecting and Investigating Test Security Irregularities: A Comprehensive Guidebook on Test Security for States 8:30am-10am John Olson, with Charlene Tucker, John Fremer, Greg Cizek, Juan D’Brot, and Roger Ervin. 

Friday, June 21 

Lessons Learned from Managing a Successful Multi-State Assessment Consortium – The WIDA Experience 8-9:30am. Edward Roeber, with Troy Couillard, Gay Pickner, Meredith Alt, Iihye Yoon, and Tim Boals 

Saturday, June 22 

Is There a Role for Formalized Tools in Formative Assessment? 10-10:55am Edward Roeber, with Angela Quick, Randy Bennett, Jan Chappuis, and Robert Dolan 

Publications Showcase: Planning For 2014/2015 – What Are States Doing To Prepare For The Next Generation Of Assessments? 10am-12pm Barry Topol and John Olson, with Bob Olsen, Mark Shermis, and Carissa Miller. 

 
ASG Issues RFI for Study on the Cost of Machine Scoring of Student Essays

Date:  March 12, 2013

ASG has issued an RFI on the cost of machine scoring of student essays. Drafted in support of the PARCC and SBAC assessment consortia, the RFI seeks to gather information from qualified vendors to determine the nature and type of items that can be efficiently scored with a machine scoring engine, as well as the costs of scoring these items.  Both PARCC and SBAC have included letters of support in the RFI.

The RFI can be accessed by clicking on the links below.

Responses are due 4 weeks from the date of issuance.

Link - Machine Scoring RFI

Link - RFI Pricing Worksheet