Announcing the Assessment for Good Fall 2022 LEARN: Learn More

Assessment for Good (AFG) is excited to continue its journey to transform formative assessment by producing effective, asset-based solutions that enable educators, caregivers, or learners themselves to have more effective tools in their learning environments. This third RFP is our largest yet, with the call for innovative assessment instruments and assessment platforms, and for the first time, they are looking to support deep partnerships between districts and R&D teams for multi-year place-based assessment R&D opportunities.

View the RFP

LEARN Fall 2022 Topics

For this request, our topics (areas under which you can be awarded funding) are divided into three categories: Assessment Instruments, Assessment Platforms, and Place-based Assessment R&D. Each category has a specific funding level and set of submission dates. Proposers can suggest projects that cover any stage of research (i.e., exploratory, mid-stage, or products approaching wide-scale adoption) for any of these topics.

Assessment Instruments

Under this category, we are looking for research projects that will result in a reliable and valid assessment instrument that aligns with one of the following:

  • Academic Identity: Assessment instrument prototypes that assist educators, caregivers, or learners in understanding how learners from diverse backgrounds, aged 8 – 13, engage in and form identities as learners. This can include a general identity as a learner, or a more specific disciplinary identity, such as a “reader” or “math learner.” Successful prototypes would allow a learner or educator to maximize the opportunity for discovery and learning in a developmentally meaningful way. Tools that focus on the interplay between social development, emotional development, disability identity development, and/or development of a disciplinary identity from an asset-based perspective are especially desired.
  • Culturally Valid Core Levers: Assessment instrument prototypes reflecting a culturally valid approach of measuring our priority population’s development in one or more of AFG’s core levers: emotional development, engagement and belonging, executive function, or social development. For smaller projects, this may include building item pools through a systematic research process. For larger projects, this may include conducting a comprehensive validity study. Teams that apply under this topic will work closely with AFG as these components will be built across multiple R&D teams to be used in concert with each other.
  • Ecological Assessment: Assessment instrument prototypes that measure how to optimize the environment for high-quality, effective learning for our priority populations. This includes a variety of ecological factors, such as instruments that are sensitive to the measurement of a single learner’s experiences across multiple learning environments; instruments that measure the ecosystemic variables within a classroom, such as crucial environmental variables within a learning space that are important for high-quality learning; or, instruments that are constructed to reliably and validly determine a group of learner’s experiences in a single learning context that produces timely and usable information for an educator. This also includes dynamic assessment prototypes, which can provide usable information in a momentary fashion to support evidence-informed changes in instruction, intervention, or features within a learning environment.
  • Whole Child: Assessment instrument prototypes that reflect a new approach to what “whole child” development may mean for this generation of Black and Latinx learners. Focusing on the youngest learners in our program’s target age (ages 8 – 10), instrument prototypes that reflect responsive approaches to child development for Black and Latinx populations, that utilize unique measurement approaches for variables across multiple domains (i.e., play, interpersonal connections, learning, etc.) or multiple identities (e.g., gender and ability, or race and gender), are especially desired.

Project budgets for the Assessment Instruments category should not exceed $100,000 – $300,000 for a 12-month project. The submission portal, Submittable, will open on August 15, 2022. The concept notes for Assessment Instruments are due September 1, 2022.

Assessment Platforms

This category of funding is for teams with technological solutions that allow for easier administration of assessment instruments, easier connection across assessment instrument types, and/or easier decision-making after assessment information has been collected (i.e., visualization) by a learner, caregiver, or educator. This category is not limited to a specific platform (i.e., web-enabled, device-based, or LMS-embedded applications). In addition, platforms from other industries that may have promise in education are also welcome. This includes innovative assessment platforms or psychometric software that would be built alongside the development of an assessment instrument. NOTE: Teams that apply under this topic and do not have an assessment instrument that would qualify under LEARN may be paired with a current team to match an assessment instrument with a platform or system. Additional support for IP and licensing provisions will be made prior to the awarding of a contract to ensure protections are in place for all entities.

  • Standalone Assessment Platforms: A software program or assessment platform that does not require any additional software to run other than a device’s operating system.
  • Embedded Assessment Platforms: A software program or assessment platform that requires access to other software or devices to run, including plug-ins/APIs, or similar elements.

Project budgets for the Assessment Platforms category should not exceed $100,000 – $400,000 for a 12-month project. The submission portal, Submittable, will open on August 15, 2022. The concept notes for Assessment Platforms are due September 1, 2022.

Place-Based Assessment R&D

This category is for research projects that will explore the needs of district partners and the enabling conditions necessary for effective, community engaged, and mutually beneficial research and development partnerships with inclusive R&D teams. This includes exploratory studies for districts new to inclusive R&D partnerships and districts who wish to explore deep, long-term district-wide partnerships focused on trialing formative assessment prototypes. NOTE: For this category of research, teams will have additional time to submit their concept notes to allow for sufficient planning.

  • Discovery: Research projects that will explore the current formative assessment methods utilized across a district and how it informs decision-making at multiple levels (i.e., classroom, team, building, district-wide). The goals of projects under this category are to understand the ways in which districts currently use formative assessment related to AFG’s core levers and how they would like to implement formative assessment differently in the future. Projects under this topic will involve deep collaboration between the school district and R&D team, allowing for a series of observations, focus groups, and data reviews to occur to determine the use cases within a district.
  • Implementation: Research projects that will evaluate the effectiveness and impact of formative assessment prototypes in comparison to the current tools a school district may use. These research projects may begin with an initial phase similar to discovery projects, but will quickly shift to running a pilot study investigating the effects of new prototypes. Potential teams applying under this topic can include current AFG awardees and new R&D teams with formative assessment prototypes that would qualify under our LEARN program.

Project budgets should not exceed $100,000 – $300,000 per year for discovery projects and $200,000 – $500,000 per year for implementation projects. Each project will be scoped for two years, but will be funded a year at a time. Decisions to fund for the additional year will be based upon project success at each review period. The submission portal, Submittable, will open on November 1, 2022 for Place-Based Assessment R&D. The concept notes for this category are due December 1, 2022. Potential teams are strongly encouraged to attend Office Hours or contact the program for guidance to determine fit under this category.

Funding amount: Between $100,000-500,000

Read More

Calling all Prek-12 Changemakers! Take a survey and join us in co-creating a map of the education R&D ecosystem in the United States that will outline who is working in the ecosystem, where they are working, and what they are working on. Information collected through this survey will be used to generate the map and deepen our shared understanding of the ecosystem.

Share Your Voice

[Applications Closed]

Equitable Foundational Literacy Research with Older Learners

Learning to read is a complex process. Decades of research provide some insight into the skills, knowledge, and beliefs that students must possess to become proficient readers – but there is much more to learn about how to put all of our students, especially Black, Latino, and Native American students and those experiencing poverty, on accelerated trajectories of reading success that match their potential.

To learn more, see details below and access the complete Equitable Foundational Literacy Research for Older Learners RFP.

Read more about our approach to literacy learning and the foundational research behind it in our concept paper: Reading Reimagined: A New Inclusive Research & Development Initiative.


RFP Details

Our first request for proposals focused on an area of literacy learning where we still have unanswered questions as a field: foundational literacy with learners in grades three through eight. We are no longer accepting proposals, but stay tuned for award announcements in June 2022!

Reading Reimagined funded projects no more than sixteen months in duration and funding ranges were $50,000-$400,000.

Note: For organizations with less RFP experience, there is an opportunity to request potential support around proposal development within the Concept Note submission, due March 23, 2022, should your organization be invited to submit a full proposal. Support requests will be reviewed for feasibility, but are not guaranteed, as part of our commitment to supporting a diversity of proposals and proposing teams.


Webinar and Office Hours

View our pre-recorded webinar series to learn more about our program goals and RFP details.

Read our FAQ

Sign up for our mailing list to learn about future inclusive R&D funding and partnership opportunities or reach out to us anytime at 

Need to meet with us to discuss your RFP? Sign up via Calendly (limited # of time slots).

Read the full RFP here.

Assessment for Good (AFG), an inclusive R&D program part of the Advanced Education Research and Development Fund (AERDF), is calling all changemakers interested co-designing and co-developing formative assessment solutions that actively engage with learners, educators, and their caregivers to redefine practices that center the strengths of Black and Latinx learners.

View the RFP

LEARN Fall 2022 Topics 

For this request, our topics (areas under which you can be awarded funding) are divided into three categories: Assessment Instruments, Assessment Platforms, and Place-based Assessment R&D. Each category has a specific funding level and set of submission dates. Proposers can suggest projects that cover any stage of research (i.e., exploratory, mid-stage, or products approaching wide-scale adoption) for any of these topics. 

Assessment Instruments

Under this category, we are looking for research projects that will result in a reliable and valid assessment instrument that aligns with one of the following: 

  • Academic Identity: Assessment instrument prototypes that assist educators, caregivers, or learners in understanding how learners from diverse backgrounds, aged 8 – 13, engage in and form identities as learners. This can include a general identity as a learner, or a more specific disciplinary identity, such as a “reader” or “math learner.”  Successful prototypes would allow a learner or educator to maximize the opportunity for discovery and learning in a developmentally meaningful way. Tools that focus on the interplay between social development, emotional development, disability identity development, and/or development of a disciplinary identity from an asset-based perspective are especially desired. 
  • Culturally Valid Core Levers: Assessment instrument prototypes reflecting a culturally valid approach of measuring our priority population’s development in one or more of AFG’s core levers: emotional development, engagement and belonging, executive function, or social development. For smaller projects, this may include building item pools through a systematic research process. For larger projects, this may include conducting a comprehensive validity study. Teams that apply under this topic will work closely with AFG as these components will be built across multiple R&D teams to be used in concert with each other. 
  • Ecological Assessment: Assessment instrument prototypes that measure how to optimize the environment for high-quality, effective learning for our priority populations. This includes a variety of ecological factors, such as instruments that are sensitive to the measurement of a single learner’s experiences across multiple learning environments; instruments that measure the ecosystemic variables within a classroom, such as crucial environmental variables within a learning space that are important for high-quality learning; or, instruments that are constructed to reliably and validly determine a group of learner’s experiences in a single learning context that produces timely and usable information for an educator. This also includes dynamic assessment prototypes, which can provide usable information in a momentary fashion to support evidence-informed changes in instruction, intervention, or features within a learning environment. 
  • Whole Child: Assessment instrument prototypes that reflect a new approach to what “whole child” development may mean for this generation of Black and Latinx learners. Focusing on the youngest learners in our program’s target age (ages 8 – 10), instrument prototypes that reflect responsive approaches to child development for Black and Latinx populations, that utilize unique measurement approaches for variables across multiple domains (i.e., play, interpersonal connections, learning, etc.) or multiple identities (e.g., gender and ability, or race and gender), are especially desired.  

Project budgets for the Assessment Instruments category should not exceed $100,000 – $300,000 for a 12-month project. The submission portal, Submittable, will open on August 15, 2022. The concept notes for Assessment Instruments are due September 1, 2022. 

Assessment Platforms

This category of funding is for teams with technological solutions that allow for easier administration of assessment instruments, easier connection across assessment instrument types, and/or easier decision-making after assessment information has been collected (i.e., visualization) by a learner, caregiver, or educator. This category is not limited to a specific platform (i.e., web-enabled, device-based, or LMS-embedded applications). In addition, platforms from other industries that may have promise in education are also welcome. This includes innovative assessment platforms or psychometric software that would be built alongside the development of an assessment instrument. NOTE: Teams that apply under this topic and do not have an assessment instrument that would qualify under LEARN may be paired with a current team to match an assessment instrument with a platform or system. Additional support for IP and licensing provisions will be made prior to the awarding of a contract to ensure protections are in place for all entities. 

  • Standalone Assessment Platforms: A software program or assessment platform that does not require any additional software to run other than a device’s operating system. 
  • Embedded Assessment Platforms: A software program or assessment platform that requires access to other software or devices to run, including plug-ins/APIs, or similar elements. 

Project budgets for the Assessment Platforms category should not exceed $100,000 – $400,000 for a 12-month project. The submission portal, Submittable, will open on August 15, 2022. The concept notes for Assessment Platforms are due September 1, 2022. 

Place-Based Assessment R&D

This category is for research projects that will explore the needs of district partners and the enabling conditions necessary for effective, community engaged, and mutually beneficial research and development partnerships with inclusive R&D teams. This includes exploratory studies for districts new to inclusive R&D partnerships and districts who wish to explore deep, long-term district-wide partnerships focused on trialing formative assessment prototypes. NOTE: For this category of research, teams will have additional time to submit their concept notes to allow for sufficient planning. 

  • Discovery: Research projects that will explore the current formative assessment methods utilized across a district and how it informs decision-making at multiple levels (i.e., classroom, team, building, district-wide). The goals of projects under this category are to understand the ways in which districts currently use formative assessment related to AFG’s core levers and how they would like to implement formative assessment differently in the future. Projects under this topic will involve deep collaboration between the school district and R&D team, allowing for a series of observations, focus groups, and data reviews to occur to determine the use cases within a district. 
  • Implementation:  Research projects that will evaluate the effectiveness and impact of formative assessment prototypes in comparison to the current tools a school district may use. These research projects may begin with an initial phase similar to discovery projects, but will quickly shift to running a pilot study investigating the effects of new prototypes. Potential teams applying under this topic can include current AFG awardees and new R&D teams with formative assessment prototypes that would qualify under our LEARN program. 

Project budgets should not exceed $100,000 – $300,000 per year for discovery projects and $200,000 – $500,000 per year for implementation projects. Each project will be scoped for two years, but will be funded a year at a time. Decisions to fund for the additional year will be based upon project success at each review period. The submission portal, Submittable, will open on November 1, 2022 for Place-Based Assessment R&D.  The concept notes for this category are due December 1, 2022. Potential teams are strongly encouraged to attend Office Hours or contact the program for guidance to determine fit under this category. 

Funding amount: Between $100,000-500,000

Funding opportunity now closed

LEARN is a means of identifying innovative, rapid response research proposals that will advance solutions that support the assessment of social, emotional and educational assets in culturally diverse populations. LEARN RFPs occur twice per year and funding is typically received in 60 days or less. The next LEARN submission window is February 15 – March 1, 2022. 

Assessment for Good is seeking bold ideas that will allow us to cultivate valuable and relevant information about the variable learning environments that surround learners and their educators. We seek to explore new frontiers for formative assessment that advance affirming spaces for educators and learners in order to maximize discovery and learning.

  • Particular topics: New Frontiers in Understanding Learner Variability, Exploring New Educator Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Integrating Assessment Tools
  • Funding amount: Between $100-$300,000

Nationally recognized nonprofit seeks a full-time Director of Strategic Development to join the team growing an inclusive research & development (R&D) program for K-12 education.

The Director of Strategic Development is responsible for driving the diverse, equitable, and inclusive development of new ideas for programs and future program leaders at AERDF.  The position reports to the Chief Learning Officer and supports the Chief of Research & Development in setting the course for new programs that fulfill AERDF’s vision of impact and Inclusive R&D in education. The role is anticipated to be creative and broad-ranging as AERDF designs and establishes its approach to new program development.

Read more and apply here.

Last month, AERDF CEO Stacey Childress shared an update with our growing community of friends that recommendations were being sought for talented leaders across the country who would make great candidates for membership on our board of directors. A big part of this news was an announcement that three current board members, who represented AERDF’s anchor donors, were stepping back from their involvement and the board was filling those seats and adding three new seats.  We had a sit down with Stacey to let you in on more of the plans for the board and desired characteristics we hope to find in new board members. Our ask? Take a quick read through and share with 3 people in your network who might make great board candidates themselves or be connected to other leaders who are!

Q:  Let’s jump right into it. Why turn to the public for recommendations of leaders for AERDF to consider for its board?

Stacey: From the beginning, we envisioned a process where our board would transition from a donor heavy group to independent members who could bring a broad range of perspectives and skills to help guide the organization in these early stages. Independent governance is important to our long-term success, and we believe strongly in collaboration with practitioners and thought leaders in the education field — hence, our call for recommendations.

Q:   This process could lead to recommendations of leaders with quite a range of backgrounds and areas of experience and expertise –what is AERDF looking for in its next board members?

Stacey: Great question. We’re looking for board members who are thoughtful and collaborative and who like to think big and debate different approaches to difficult challenges facing education. Folks who also have a clear, demonstrated commitment and track record of results in their professional and/or personal lives that aligns with AERDF’s mission and goalsWe’re committed to a diverse board in terms of race and ethnicity, gender, generation, background and experience, political affiliation, and geography within the U.S. We value experience in classrooms, schools, or communities, especially folks who work directly with students, educators, and families; expertise in research and learning science; understanding of education policy; and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Q: What does the board do?

Stacey: Our approach to governance prioritizes decentralized decision-making about programs, projects, and grants to AERDF’s full-time team. So our board advises on big-picture strategy in alignment with our mission and works with our executive team to ensure we have the resources, policies, talent, and relationships to execute well.

Q: Why is it so important that the board reflect the diversity of our priority students?

Stacey:  AERDF aims to tackle persistent teaching and learning challenges that disproportionately affect Black and Latino students and students of all races experiencing poverty. We need the leadership of people who understand the lived experiences of those students.

For more information, including the timelines for consideration and a more complete description of roles and responsibilities, visit the board recommendations page  on our website.

Please take a moment to share this recommendation within your network to those you might make great board candidates themselves or are connected to other leaders who are!

Become a Reading Reimagined Educator Advisor! We highly value the expertise of our students and communities. While we will engage with many classrooms, schools, and districts across our project scope, we want a consistent group of educators to build context and advise the details over time by:

  • Influencing our work from all angles, bringing the current experience of educators to the center,
  • Testing key content and ensuring its applicability and efficacy early in our process, and
  • Providing thought partnership and oversight on our work to ensure we are on track to key learnings to influence the field and our future product. 

WHO IS RIGHT FOR THIS ROLE?

Experience

  • You have deep experience as an educator, specifically working with Black, Latino, and/or Native American students and those experiencing poverty.
  • You love reading and believe in its power in our schools, communities, and lives.
  • You are invested in and committed to ensuring your students benefit from the literacy instruction they deserve to become thriving readers.
  • You have a demonstrated track record of building productive, trusting relationships across lines of difference.
  • You are naturally curious and an information-seeker. You are able to connect ideas across concepts. 
  • You are a skilled communicator, seeking to understand others’ perspectives and share your own in clear, respectful ways.

Expectations

  • Review, and provide feedback/guidance on Reading Reimagined’s’s research and development initiatives and any findings as they are available.
  • Attend meetings (2-4 per year, with engagement in smaller focus groups meeting roughly once a month) to discuss our most current efforts and results, and to inform upcoming priorities.
  • Serve as an advocate for our work, appearing on our website as a member of the Educator Advisory Council and, if willing, supporting other external efforts such as giving media quotations, joining panels or moderating at events, etc.

Honorarium

Members of the Educator Advisory Council will receive an honorarium of $2,500 at the end of the first year of service. 

If you have any questions about this process please reach out to readingreimaginedinfo@aerdf.org.

To learn more about Reading Reimagined’s efforts, visit our webpage.

THE OPPORTUNITY

AERDF has openings for new members to begin service on the Board on a rolling basis starting in January 2022. The Board sees this as an opportunity to add new expertise, perspectives, and relationships in support of AERDF’s mission. 

If you would like to recommend someone, please follow this link.

BOARD MEMBER ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Board is charged with the roles and responsibilities listed below. As a small startup board, members collaborate across each of these main areas. Board leadership positions and committee structures are still in formation. However, based on their particular background and area(s) of expertise, each member is expected to contribute to specific initiatives within the overall set of responsibilities. 

Board responsibility areas include:

Strategy: 

  • Advising on and approving AERDF’s overall strategic direction
  • Approving governance/policy decisions related to our mission and operating and financial models
  • Providing key input to developing new program areas 

External Relations: 

  • Serving as an advocate and supporter of the organization and each of its programs
  • Providing input and support for broader field building initiatives
  • Promoting partnerships and facilitating introductions where appropriate
  • Supporting external engagement, communication, and advocacy efforts with key education leaders, research leaders and funders 

Governance: 

  • Ensuring great leadership at AERDF and within its programs
  • Recruiting, appointing, and advising the CEO, including conducting a regular CEO evaluation and overseeing succession planning
  • Attracting, appointing, assessing, and retaining qualified Board members and leadership
  • Serving on key board committees and ad hoc working groups
  • Participating in board performance assessments 

Financial: 

  • Advising and monitoring organizational finances
  • Reviewing and approving AERDF’s recommended annual operating budget  
  • Reviewing and approving each program’s overall (three to five year) budget 
  • Overseeing fiscal policies and ensuring sound fiscal management

Performance: 

  • Monitoring organizational performance
  • Holding the CEO accountable for strategic, operational, and financial performance against relevant metrics 
  • Approving and reviewing top-level organizational annual objectives and key results (OKRs)

Risks and Opportunities: 

  • Setting AERDF’s risk profile
  • Advising on a full range of risks and opportunities  (reputational, operational, strategic and financial) in partnership with the CEO and executive team

 

KEY COMPETENCIES 

Board members must have a clear, demonstrated commitment, as well as a strong track record of results in their professional and/or personal lives, that aligns with AERDF’s mission and goals. Members should be willing to make the individual commitment needed to fulfill Board roles and responsibilities. 

Broadly speaking, the Board seeks candidates who are thoughtful and collaborative and who are stimulated by sharing ideas and debating different approaches to difficult challenges. Candidates who have backgrounds and/or expertise in the following areas are strongly preferred:

  • Experience in classrooms, schools and communities, working directly with students, educators, and families
  • Expertise in one or more areas of research and learning science, with a particular focus on translating insights into useful practices and supports for students, teachers, parents, and caregivers
  • Experience in workplaces and/or governing boards that are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Understanding of education policy at the local, state, and/or federal level
  • Broad understanding of curriculum and education technology markets, especially with awareness of how and why they have failed to provide equitable and effective learning supports for students

In addition, the Board has a very strong commitment to maintaining a diverse membership that reflects the diversity of our priority students and seeks to bring in new Board members who can help diversify its board in the following areas: race and ethnicity, generational, gender, political affiliation, and geographic location within the US.

Board participation is on a volunteer basis and is not compensated. Conversely, Board members are not required or expected to provide personal financial support to the organization.  

LOCATION 

National. Board members can be based anywhere in the US. The board currently meets virtually.

KEY POINTS OF CONTACT: 

For logistical support/questions or additional Information, reach out to us at info@aerdf.org and we’ll make sure the right person from our team connects with you.