On December 7, Martha Thurlow, Director of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD), participated in the White House Convening on Better, Fairer, and Fewer Assessments in Washington, DC. The Convening brought together about 100 representatives from states, districts, and schools, as well as researchers and assessment developers. The purpose was to discuss how to improve assessments and reduce the burden of redundant assessments, consistent with the Obama Testing Action Plan released in October 2015.

Thurlow participated in a panel discussion on better, fairer, and fewer assessments. Representing the "fairer" aspect of the convening, she responded to questions from Gene Wilhoit, Director of the National Center for Innovation in Education, and the audience. Thurlow also collaborated with Jose Blackorby of CAST in a breakout session focused on increasing accessibility. "It was a great opportunity to ensure that the development of innovative assessments, and efforts to reduce the number of assessments, continue to ensure that the results are fair to all students, including those with disabilities and those who are English learners," noted Thurlow. NCEO provides national leadership in designing and building educational assessments and accountability systems that appropriately monitor educational results for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are English Language Learners.