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An Overview

Founded in 1992, the Tri-State Consortium has developed an alternative assessment model designed to enhance student performance in high-performing school districts.

    • Member districts receive triennial assessment visits by teams of "critical friends"— trained educators from within the Consortium who evaluate and report on district programs using eight "indicators" to measure the degree to which the district is utilizing multiple forms of student performance data as the basis for its planning. 
    • The team also spends time developing responses to "essential questions" posed by the district to elicit the team's best thinking about issues of teaching and learning.
    • The evaluation report developed by the visit team opens with the team's responses to the district's essential questions.
    • The report includes commendations of the district's strengths and recommendations to suggest next steps for the district's growth. 
    • Finally, the report includes highlighted text on the scoring rubric that reflects the district's approach for each of the indicators, the degree to which the approach has been implemented, and student performance results that are attributable to that approach. 
    • The district's assessment report is used to prioritize and plan actions that will support further growth.
    • Two years after the visit, a representative subset of the original visiting team returns,and facilitates a conversation focused  on the actions taken by the district in response to the team's recommendations.
    • Through the Consortium's affiliation with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New York and New Jersey, member districts receiving Tri-State visits are accorded Middle States accreditation. The Consortium also collaborates with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to integrate their respective assessment processes for the Consortium's Connecticut member districts.
    • In addition to three-day external peer review visits centered on disciplines, such as K-12 math and K-12 English Language Arts, the Consortium also organizes one and two day consultancies, usually focused on specific programs or approaches. 
    • The Consortium provides six study group opportunities for school and district leaders: elementary principals, middle school principals, high school principals, assistant principals, curriculum leaders, and superintendents. These study groups meet four or five times annually and focus on issues relating to leadership and student learning. The Consortium also facilitates topic-based study groups focused on matters of interest to member districts. 
    • The Consortium holds two conferences for members annually. These conferences usually involve a presentation by a well known educator as well as opportunities to share experiences with people from other member districts.