Analysis Finds Dad and mom Longing for Extra Info on How Evaluation Methods Help Their Youngster’s Educational Progress

Santa Cruz, CA, March 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Clear information, actionable resources, and teacher feedback are a few of the key things parents say would be the most helpful toward their efforts to support their child’s academic progress. These findings are the result of focus groups with parents across the nation released by Smarter Balanced and National PTA.

“All students deserve the opportunity to succeed and thrive in school,” said Magda Chia PhD, Executive Strategy Officer, Smarter Balanced. “At Smarter Balanced, we are committed to doing everything we can to equip both educators and families with tools that help them clearly understand the purpose of a balanced assessment system. In an aligned comprehensive assessment system, educators and families can find information that they can use to support students’ academic progress.”

During this research, parents shared that they want to be highly involved in their child’s education, and desire actionable information where their student excels or needs help; clear indicators of progress over time; and how their student or school compares to others by school, district, and nationally. Additionally, parents shared that teachers are essential partners and trusted messengers when it comes to conveying information about academic progress to parents.

And while parents see value in assessment tools as ways to check on progress during the school year, they want to avoid over-testing. Parents also called for support and clearer information on how to connect what happens in the classroom and the year-end state tests. Many parents thought the presentation of year-end state test results can be confusing.

“National PTA has long believed that when used appropriately, assessments provide critical data that helps give a clearer picture of where children are academically, helps equip parents to support and effectively advocate on behalf of their child’s learning, helps educators address learning gaps and tailor their instruction to students, and helps ensure equity for all children,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “As underscored by the focus groups, parents want access to the best information to support teaching and learning and improve outcomes. It is essential that all of us work together and are stewards of effective assessment systems to make sure we have the best, most accurate information to support our children’s learning and help ensure all children receive a high-quality education that enables them to reach their full potential.”

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Edge Research and National PTA conducted virtual focus groups among parents of 3rd-8th graders between November 4-11, 2021. Parents represented a mix of age, gender, race and ethnicity, geographic area, locality (urban, suburban, small/town rural ), and socioeconomic status. The result of this research will lead to continued partnership between Smarter Balanced and National PTA to increase access to information on assessment system literacy for families.

About Smarter Balanced

Smarter Balanced is a public agency supported by our member states. Through the work of thousands of educators, we created a dynamic assessment system aligned to college and career ready standards, as well as instructional resources for educators to help them improve teaching and learning.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Chris Barron Smarter Balanced [email protected]

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