February 24, 2020 | News

Reflections on MZD’s Partnership with NWEA and Louisiana

Zac Henrich is CEO and Co-founder of MZD. He is an experienced senior leader and proven product development expert in the education technology domain. With over 10 years of experience working with some of the largest organizations in the educational assessment industry, he has developed a broad understanding of educational software product development from conception through the entire product lifecycle.

Miles Loring (MZD’s Co-founder & CTO) and I just returned home from another visit to schools in Louisiana participating in the Louisiana Innovative Assessment Pilot. (To learn more about MZD’s role in the Louisiana Innovative Assessment program, click HERE). This was the third opportunity we have had to visit classrooms, and with each visit, our appreciation and excitement for what the innovative pilot is intending to accomplish grows. 

As shared before, MZD is extremely proud to have been selected by NWEA to be the technology provider of ADAM & OSCAR for the first operational Innovative Assessment. 

When we are visiting classrooms we get to hear direct, authentic feedback from administrators, coordinators, teachers and students. A few key, but not necessarily new, takeaways from our visits to Louisiana:  

  • MZD solutions are appreciated. From everyone we spoke to – from teachers to administrators and even students – feedback about our software was positive. 
  • Louisiana is onto something. Spend five minutes with students or teachers from Louisiana that are participating in the pilot and you realize the Innovative Assessment is different and in a very positive way. Students are being assessed on content being taught in class instead of focusing on content standards they may not have not seen before.
  • Assessment doesn’t have to be summative, end-of-year multiple choice exams, and it doesn’t have to create enormous amounts of stress for students or teachers. Louisiana is proving that. 
  • Educators are busy, I mean REALLY busy. The last thing anyone wants to worry about is complicated software that is often unreliable.  “Did you read the training manual?” is not an acceptable question. Software should be intuitive and easy to use. Educators have enough on their plates and simply don’t have the time to troubleshoot software tools that are designed to support them.

The MZD team is extremely proud to be part of this project and are grateful for the leadership provided by the Louisiana Department of Education. We are honored to play a part in rethinking assessment!