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Vermont Selects Cognia as Statewide Assessment Vendor

October 5, 2022

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2022
Contact: Ted Fisher,

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Agency of Education (AOE) announced today that it has selected Cognia as Vermont’s new Statewide Assessment vender after an open and competitive bid process. Cognia will develop and implement new statewide assessments for English Language Arts (ELA), Math and Science, beginning in the spring of 2023. The tests developed by Cognia will replace the Smarter Balanced Assessment and the Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA).

“I am very pleased that Cognia will provide Vermont’s new statewide assessment,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “Cognia’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion in the development and implementation of assessments aligns with Vermont’s values, and the accessibility and user experience of their testing resources will make working with the assessments easier for students, families and educators.”

Cognia will provide the full suite of testing services to Vermont, including formative resources and annual summative assessments. Additionally, the organization offers advanced accessibility features and accommodations, and an enhanced user interface for test setup, and for viewing results. Both the vendor and AOE will work with Vermont schools to ensure a smooth transition to the new test; Cognia will provide implementation support and training for District Test Administrators, as well as strong customer service.

“We requested proposals specifically focused on providing an assessment aligned with Vermont's commitment to equity,” said Amanda Gorham, AOE’s Director of Assessment. “We are excited to work with Cognia to develop and implement our statewide summative assessment program for years to come. The AOE is investing in fairness and more socially just practice and we're looking forward to this new relationship developing further.”

“We recognize the importance of being able to look back on previous years’ data in a meaningful way,” Amanda added. “As part of the contract, Cognia will develop a methodology to compare scores on the new assessments to legacy assessments used in prior years.”

“While the test itself is changing, as is the vendor administering it, it’s important to note what is not changing,” said Deputy Secretary Heather Bouchey. “Vermont is required to administer statewide tests of English Language Arts, Math and Science under federal law. The basic structure of assessment remains the same; participation requirements, reporting, and federal accountability will not change with the move to Cognia.”

In addition, these data are a critical part of how we measure academic achievement year over year,” added Bouchey. “This has never been more important, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Several states currently contract with Cognia to provide statewide summative assessments, including Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, as well as the Multi-state Alternate Assessment and the Collaborative for the Alternate Assessment of English Lanugage consortia. Cognia (formerly Measured Progress) provided Vermont the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) from 2004 – 2015.

Cognia provides a fully integrated system, including assessment development, implementation, and reporting. The organization has taken on a holistic, focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. More information about Cognia’s assessment services can be found on their website.

The new tests will be rolled out during the 2022-23 school year. The Agency and Cognia will work together with school districts to make sure assessments are ready for students in the spring and schools are ready to administer them.

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