Breakthrough Technologies Developing Education Assessment System for NCSC Multi-State Consortium

Updated: Jun 4, 2019


To enhance the educational opportunities of students with significant cognitive disabilities – a traditionally underserved population – Breakthrough Technologies, LLC will be developing a comprehensive software assessment system for the National Center and State Collaborative.


“We are thrilled to support the mission of the NCSC consortium and participate in an important phase of the project,” said Doug Wilson, managing partner of Breakthrough Technologies.  “Breakthrough Technologies will employ our business analysis, development, quality assurance and support teams to ensure the success of this exciting, worthy and challenging endeavor.”


The new NCSC Assessment Technology System will be designed to deliver online assessments to the 1 percent of students who require an alternate summative assessment. 


The NCSC is a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and is led by five centers and 25 states to construct an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and 11.  The goal of the NCSC project is to ensure that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for post-secondary options.


In building the new NCSC Assessment Technology System Breakthrough Technologies brings to the project a long history of assessment software development, extensive experience and skilled expertise.  Breakthrough Technologies, which also has worked with NCSC on the Technical Architecture plan for the system, is nationally recognized for developing all types of software systems, including assessment technology for custom large-scale state summative testing programs. 


Breakthrough Technologies will incorporate in the NCSC System the TAOopen-source assessment platform, which is uniquely suited for the creation and delivery of tests online.  As Open Assessment Technologies, S.A.’s authorized partner for the TAO Assessment Platform in the U.S. and Canada, Breakthrough is experienced in developing and deploying open-source applications and supporting custom implementations.


“We’re really pleased with NCSC’s selection of the TAO open-source assessment platform,” said Marc Oswald, co-founder and CEO of Open Assessment Technologies.  “TAO is based on a highly advanced data architecture model, and is ideally suited for large-scale deployments such as this one.”


Core item and test creation and management, test delivery, including adaptive testlets, and automated- and hand-scoring functions for the NCSC system will be among the capabilities provided by the TAO platform.  Breakthrough Technologies also will develop a range of enhancements to ideally serve system end-users.


About Breakthrough Technologies, LLC

Founded in 1998 by three Chicago-based senior software engineers, Breakthrough Technologies, LLC serves clients by creating innovative web, mobile and custom software solutions for complex problems.  Collaborating with clients and partners gives Breakthrough Technologies the opportunity to combine emerging technologies with innovative thinking to empower organizations, facilitate communication, and create positive change on a global scale. 

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