Announcing our Newest Inclusive R&D Program:  Reading Reimagined

Assessment for Good

We seek to transform the systems and structures necessary for culturally affirming assessment of Black and Latino students and their social, emotional, and learning development.

Program Description

It is more important than ever for all students to feel welcome, safe and understood at school and for learning environments to support this goal. Assessment for Good (AFG) is an Inclusive R&D program focused on dramatically improving conditions for the social and emotional health and positive academic outcomes of learners aged 8-13, with a special focus on Black and Latinx students. This is a critical phase in students’ lives for identity development and foundational academic development. It is also the time when most students are initially assessed for disabilities.

AFG seeks to improve outcomes for students with and without disabilities through a series of R&D projects that will advance the capabilities needed in a responsive and accessible system of asset-based assessment. By redesigning assessment in this way, educators will have access to vital information on the strengths that students bring to the classroom, allowing them to provide a rich instructional experience that values learner diversity. Transforming assessment so that it connects educators, parents, and students together as partners in learning will maximize impact – setting the stage for an equitable, affirming, and relevant educational experience.

The AFG program has announced two opportunities to identify breakthrough efforts to redefine assessment. The first is a Request for Information (RFI) that seeks detailed information from educators, researchers, caregivers, and product developers on how assessment can be conducted differently. Of particular interest are ideas for how to meaningfully include parents and students as partners in assessment, new assessment formats for social and emotional learning that can be integrated into current learning systems, and technology-enhanced assessment that supports embedding assessment into natural classroom routines. The AFG team will use this information to guide upcoming funding opportunities.

The second opportunity is a Request for Proposals (RFP) for available funding for projects aimed at creating innovative ways to assess how learning environments support specific aspects of students’ emotional and identity development. The AFG team believes that the most promising approaches will reflect easy to use tools that support the multiple identities that a learner brings to school, such as their view of themselves as a reader or future entrepreneur, as well as their sense of their cultural and social identities. When identity and emotional development can be developed alongside academic skills, educators can meet a student’s needs more effectively and provide a more individualized and affirming educational experience. Through this RFP, the AFG team hopes to engage in a rapid response approach to R&D by providing funding to teams in 60 days or less to co-develop effective solutions with educators and students.

Leadership & Partnerships

AFG’s Advisory Council consists of leaders across the nation who are educators, founders, caregivers, activists, students, and researchers who share the program’s belief in Inclusive R&D. The Council will set the standard on what counts as evidence and influence AFG’s processes, goals, investment decisions, and overall outcomes during the program’s lifecycle.

Abhi Nangia leads BetterWorldEd.org, a nonprofit on a mission to humanize learning.

Akil Bello is an educator, entrepreneur, and advocate who has worked in admissions testing and educational access for almost three decades.

Annie Tan is a special education teacher, storyteller and activist teaching in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. 

Avery is a high school student in Michigan.

Byron Durias is an experienced principal with a demonstrated history of successfully working in middle and high school education.

Cayley is a high school student in Michigan.

Charles Cole III, is the founder of Energy Convertors, an organization in Oakland, CA that exists to utilize the voices of the end-users of education – the students, their parents, and the community.

Deborah Rivas-Drake is a Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Derek Collins is the founder and creator of Gifted & Lit, which combines Hip-Hop and social-emotional learning to teach children math, science, language arts and more.

Elaine Townsend Utin is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of LatinxEd and adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  

Erica Buddington is the CEO/ Founder of Langston League and a self-taught public historian.

Fantasy T. Lozada is an assistant professor of Developmental Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Gina Angeli is a caregiver in Michigan.

Heidi Oliver-O’Gilvie is the current Director of Leadership Development in a large school district.

James E. Ford is the Executive Director of the Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED) and the Principal Consultant at Filling the Gap Educational Consultants, LLC.

Jamila Dugan is an author, leadership coach and researcher focusing on culturally rich education environments and anti-racist approaches to learning. 

Jomar is a high school student in Massachusetts.

Judith Díaz-Rodríguez is the Co-Founder of The Equity Imperative, an organization of educators invested in the securing of opportunities for all, especially those who are marginalized.

Macie is a college student in Michigan.

Marlene Lara is a caregiver in Massachusetts.

Mondo Davison is the founder of Schoolz & Local Linkz, which merge tech, art, and media to deliver culturally rich content at scale.

Monise Seward is a veteran educator who has more than 10 years experience serving students with disabilities in various capacities.

Na is a high school student in Massachusetts.

Nancy Duchesneau is a Senior P-12 Research Associate at The Education Trust, where she leads the Social, Emotional, and Academic Development work. 

Selena A. Carrión is an ELA teacher, library media specialist, activist, and writer currently working in the New York City public schools. 

Tyrone Martinez-Black is the practice integration specialist at the collaborative for academic, social, and emotional learning (CASEL).