Kansas Provides Statewide Access to FastBridge Universal Screener and Progress Monitoring Tool

The Kansas Department of Education and Illuminate Education signed a four-year agreement to implement FastBridge, a universal screener and progress monitoring tool for academics and social-emotional behavior, in all of its districts. The effort is supported using American Rescue Plan funds and pays for half of the costs associated with implementing the assessment in districts. The FastBridge system helps to ensure that districts and schools have the data they need to provide students with personalized learning opportunities.

We are spotlighting this practice because accurate information about student learning throughout the year can support instructional practices that accelerate learning. The use of federal COVID relief funds to help provide meaningful data is noteworthy and should be replicated in other states that lack strong interim and formative assessment tools.

Reviewer Analysis

The Education Trust

Kansas’ partnership with Illuminate Education will hopefully provide districts and schools with ongoing data about the social, emotional, and academic needs of each individual student. It will be critical to pair these new tools with training and ongoing support to ensure educators are using the data in appropriate ways to advance student outcomes.

The Data Quality Campaign

Kansas’s investment in a progress monitoring tool will helpfully allow teachers and counselors to better understand and support their students on an ongoing basis. It will be important that the state accompany this investment with training and support for educators on how to ethically use the tool and the information from it.

The Rural Alliance

We are encouraged by the barriers KDE has assisted in removing for small rural districts by providing funds for the FastBridge system. Providing funding and a data tool for these districts creates time saved and allows educators to be educators.

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