SEGway February 2017

2013 Logo 3d gradient
SEGway     February 2017
Research and Assessment News from SEG Measurement  
In This Issue

Follow us on Twitter


View our profile on LinkedIn


31 Pheasant Run
New Hope Pennsylvania 18938

Dear Scott,
Welcome to the February issue of SEGway!  
An ancient Chinese proverb says "May you live in interesting times".  All of us in education can certainly relate to this.  To say that we are witnessing a change in education policy is an understatement!  

Shift From Federal to State Education Control. While changes at both the federal and state levels are uncertain at this point, a few things seem clear.  First, the focus will shift from federal control and funding to greater state control over these areas. Initial rhetoric and moves by the executive and legislative branches point in this direction. One pending bill goes so far as to call for limiting the Federal Department of Education's role to the issuance of block grants and supporting systems of school choice.  
State and District Based Assessment. Second, there will be a shift back to the states and districts for assessments and standards.  Our best guess at this point is that the assessment environment will look much like it did prior to Common Core.  We will likely see mostly state-based, high-stakes assessment programs, with some continued consortia participation. "Formative" assessments will likely remain more diffuse, with purchasing and creation at the district, school and classroom level.
Greater Need for Proof of Effectiveness. What will this mean for educational publishers and technology providers? While it is difficult to comprehend all the implications of this changing policy environment, we believe that product effectiveness research will be more important than ever. As the educational environment changes and as schools are faced with more product choices than ever, proof of product effectiveness will be even more critical for marketing and sales. 
Strong Need for Quality Assessment. The market and need for assessments, both at the state and local level, will be high. The changing policy environment combined with more knowledgeable and savvy buyers will mean more pressure for technically sound, yet cost effective assessments.
February and March are busy education conference months and we look forward to seeing you at several key upcoming conferences (see below). We enjoy meeting new colleagues and learning about new products in the education industry. 
Take a look at our website at, as it is frequently updated with developments in the field, and email me at I always look forward to hearing from you.
Scott Signature

Scott Elliot
SEG Measurement 

Developing New Assessments for a New Administration
Spotlight on Psychometric Services
States, districts and schools will be seeking assessments to measure the academic achievement of students and to support instruction.  They will be using federal, state and district money on new assessments to show them where to fill in the learning gaps and where to spend time and money on interventions.
SEG Measurement has been a leading provider of test development and psychometric services for the past 11 years (and I personally have been engaged in this work for the past 39 years).  We have worked with a wide range of clients in the US and internationally including work with large publishers, major US testing consortia, and international second language test providers.  We are well recognized for our ability to deliver high quality psychometric services, on time and at a reasonable cost. 
SEG Measurement can:
  • Create custom assessments for K - 20 applications in any subject area
  • Review draft items and train item writers
  • Create alignments between standards or student learning outcomes and assessment items
  • Develop blueprints and plans to build assessments that meet your unique needs
  • Review current assessment suite and recommend changes for optimal implementation
  • Conduct psychometric analyses to better understand the quality of your items and tests
  • And much, much more
SEG has worked with virtually every state, test publisher & assessment organization to design & implement small & large-scale assessment programs.
With over 30 years of experience in assessment, we know what it takes to make an assessment useful, reliable, and valid.  Please contact us to discuss your needs and concerns.  Please call us at 1-800-254-7670 or email Scott Elliot at for assistance with creating and validating assessments.

Frequently Asked Questions
business-meeting-convo.jpg Here is the latest installment of this popular section of the newsletter with common questions and answers. If you have specific questions that are not covered here or if you are interested in exploring any of these questions further, please contact us.  We are here to help.
Our product provides a pool of items for teachers to select from to build assessments.  Teachers are asking for our recommendations for assessments.  Should we also create a set of forms for teachers to use?
  • While it is great that you offer a pool of items for teachers to create custom assessments to meet their needs, it is also critically important that any assessments used to make important decisions for students are also available that tie directly to the instructional resources available in the product.  This will allow teachers to have the best of both words with high quality assessments and also the ability to build their own quizzes.  

The assessments in our product are separate and feel different from the other activities in our product.  What can we do to update our assessments to be more useful?

  •  Creating a seamless transition between assessment and instruction within an educational product should increase the effectiveness of your product.  There are a number of ways to do this.  The assessment content itself may need to be updated to better fit with the product.  The assessments could be fine as is, but may need improvements to the manner in which they are incorporated into the learning path or how the data is reported and used. A seemingly "good" assessment that is not well integrated into a product will be of limited value.  The assessment should be carefully thought of as part of the product development or revision.  Assessment should not be considered independently of the instructional components of the product. Only then can plans can be made to design and develop the necessary improvements.    

What criteria do you use to determine whether an item is a good item?  

  • There are a number of factors and qualities of an item that help to make it a "good" item.  Does the item measure what was intended?  Is the item free from bias?  Is the item appropriate for the grade level or experience of the test takers?  Is the item relevant?  Does the item use clear language?  Is the delivery format appropriate for the item?  Are the item statistics acceptable?   An individual item can be both good and poor, depending on its use in assessments.  Specifically looking at item difficulty, the statistical criteria for "good" depends on the nature of the assessment, but in all cases a good item helps to differentiate those that know the skill/concept and those that do not.  It should be neither too hard (close to no one answering correctly) or too easy (everyone getting it right). 

Call or email us today at 800-254-7670 ext. 102 or to learn more about assessment development.  Visit our website for more details at:


SEG At Upcoming Conferences
Let's Meet!
We are looking forward to seeing our colleagues and meeting new friends at the upcoming conferences.  We are participating in several sessions & we invite you to join us.
 Look for us at these upcoming conferences:
  • National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference (NAIS), March 1 - 3, Baltimore, MD
  • Association of Test Publishers Conference (ATP), March 5 - 8, Scottsdale, AZ
  • SXSWedu, 2017 March 6 - 9, 2017, Austin, TX
  • Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development Conference (ASCD), March 25 - 27, Anaheim, CA
We would love to meet with you and discuss how we can help you build strong assessments and get the proof of effectiveness you need for success.  
If you would like to meet with a representative from SEG Measurement to discuss how we might help you with your assessment and research needs, please contact us at

About SEG Measurement
Building Better Assessments and Evaluating Product Efficacy
SEG Measurement conducts technically sound product efficacy research for educational publishers, technology providers, government agencies and other educational organizations, and helps organizations build better assessments. We have been meeting the research and assessment needs of organizations since 1979. SEG Measurement is located in New Hope, Pennsylvania and can be accessed on the web at