How ANet’s Core Values Translate into Our Interim Assessments

Achievement Network (ANet)
7 min readNov 2, 2023

We know how educators often feel about assessments. They result in over-testing and lost instructional time. They’re used as blunt tools for evaluation and accountability. They raise artificial stakes — and so high that they create panic.

That’s the opposite of what our assessments are about. Ours are tools for instruction that help you see your students more clearly. We help you understand whether kids are learning the subject, not just whether they are learning the curriculum.

Our core values help guide our work as we create actionable interim assessments that empower students and teachers.

Bold Thinking

ANet’s mission is bold on purpose and we revel in the audaciousness of achieving transformational results for students. ANetters remain relentless and obsessive when it comes to achieving an equitable and empowering learning environment for students. Our desire is rooted in many of our experiences, especially those of us who are former teachers. When we talk about our products and services, we problem-solve and innovate with a profound responsibility that our work has to be right for our students. We help our partners dream big for their schools, because students deserve it.

“The System Service Team continues to refine and improve our approach to Assessment Strategy and Implementation with the systems we partner with, balancing our understanding of what matters most to partners–the unique local and state requirements and recommendations of assessments, their desired state for students’ and teachers’ assessment experience–while keeping current with the trends in research and the market. Our partners look to us to be a few steps ahead as a trusted leader in this niche education space so we can shape the right path for their development, and that challenge of applying learning to innovate our coaching in real-time is something that continues to drive me.” -Matthew Dennis, System Services Partner

People Matter

Under institutional systems, testing hasn’t succeeded in assessing where students are actually at academically. Instead, it’s often used as a culturally-biased tool for predetermining kids’ futures. Our assessments are made with students in mind. When we create our assessments, we try to reflect their humanity in the texts and assessment processes. In fact, we strive to amplify student voice and choice in assessments by assembling focus groups of students to provide input on our interim assessments. Our assessments give educators actionable data so we can learn what each kid needs and how we can help them, instead of deficit-framing them.

“Our assessments help school leaders and teachers see their students. Not as a data point but as students learning, as people who will one day be adults running this country and the world. When our assessments are used, the adults who are responsible for educating students get to serve them in the way they specifically need with high-impact, high-value information that’s right at their fingertips.” — Nyia Dykes, Anti-Racist Culture And Communications Manager

Promote Leadership

There’s a reason when you talk to someone at ANet they could talk your ear off about formative assessments. We deeply believe in their impact on teachers and students and work hard to provide top-notch tools and services to create impact every time. We hold ourselves accountable for creating real formative assessments that are helping teachers to teach and shift the education landscape. And we know that to achieve formative, actionable assessments we need constant feedback and analysis. We’ve gathered focus groups of teachers, we review item performance each year, we choose item types carefully to elicit the most appropriate type of evidence for each standard, and we stay up-to-date on high-quality curriculums and materials to make sure we pair well with what you choose to use to teach students.

“After years of working with schools, I still get amazed at hearing leaders’ and teachers’ takeaways after doing the math from our assessments before they administer them to students. To be honest, I still enjoy the conversations that I have with other ANetters about our assessments and what it means to help us reach millions of kids. With the teacher shortage across the country, being able to bring assessments as an exemplar and guide to aid instruction to ensure it has the rigor that all students need is vital. I’m grateful to ANet for helping me live our core value ‘Promote Leadership.’” -Jeffrey Mister, ANet School Coach

Team First

Our assessment team embodies collaboration. The teammates collaborate with several colleagues inside the organization to ensure our assessments are rigorous, grade-level appropriate, and show evidence of what your student is learning. Each person brings their skillsets and expertise to the table to ensure the assessment you give your student is clear and gives you concise data. Outside of the organization, the assessment team partners with cutting-edge experts to evolve and reach more student needs. Our time spent with researchers and gaining knowledge on various curricula gives you a true standards-driven interim.

“When I get asked what the best part of working for ANet is, my first thought is always the people I am able to work alongside on a day-to-day basis. As a manager of our assessment operations, I am honored to work closely with some of the brightest, more considerate, highly accountable people both internally and externally in order to provide high-quality products to our partners. It truly is a Team First effort here at ANet.” -Jessie Newhall, Assessment Operations Manager

Advance Equity

How can you track progress for your marginalized students, and how can you start to plan actionable support for them? That’s where our interim assessments and tools like myANet come to play. We designed our interim assessments to be the informational temperature check for each standard and myANet to be the magnifying glass that gives educators those extra tidbits to support students. If you see a student struggling with a standard, our misconception guide can show you exactly why, and our myANet standards tab can give you the tools to adjust your teaching to address what your student is thinking. Grounding in tools such as these can help set aside potential internal biases to support students. Now, your marginalized students can be better supported and more challenged in their work.

“Our assessment strategy work allows districts to create or enhance their district vision around the equitable use of data to support teachers in providing high-quality, standards-based instruction and intervention to students. This work firmly sits in our Core Value of Advanced Equity to disrupt inequitable data trends we see in formative and summative data around race, socioeconomic and cultural differences.” -Dr. Clarice Clash-Turner, ANet District and System Coach.

“As a Cuban immigrant who grew up amidst economic adversity, the core value of “Advance Equity” profoundly resonates with me in our assessment work. Serving as a Spanish Operations Associate, I keep this value top of mind, making my best effort to ensure that Spanish-speaking students across the US have an equitable opportunity to excel in their assessments, just like their English-native counterparts. With my own experiences as a backdrop, I understand the significance of breaking down language and cultural barriers in education. By facilitating the translation of assessments, I’m actively contributing to a more inclusive and just academic environment. I believe that this work embodies our commitment to acknowledging the impact of various factors on students’ lives, bridging gaps, and ultimately fostering true educational equity.” -Maydiel Cañizares, Spanish-Fluent Operations Associate.

Drive Results

The data generated from ANet assessments help inform classroom-level decisions. What can that look like for our partners?

  • When an educator is preparing to teach a certain standard, they can use the assessment materials themselves to plan their lesson in advance.
  • After the assessment, the data can help you see where students are successful or are still developing understanding of grade-level concepts in an independent setting. Data can also be examined to reflect on how best to support ALL students to reach grade-level expectations.
  • The insights from your student data can be especially powerful when paired with other formative information, like how students have done in curriculum-embedded assessments or daily checks for understanding.

“ANet assessments embody the core value of driving results by providing actionable and data-driven insights that empower educators to identify student strengths and areas for growth, leading to targeted interventions and improved learning outcomes. Through ANet assessments, educators can track progress, make informed instructional decisions, and foster a culture of continuous improvement, ultimately achieving tangible academic gains.” -Yalea Baughman, ANet School Coach.

Interested in learning more about how we can achieve transformational results for your students? Let’s talk!



Achievement Network (ANet)

ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides.