Op-ed Examines How to Improve Assessments under ESSA
October 6, 2016
In an op-ed published by US News and World Report, Sara Mead of Bellwether Education Partners examined standardized testing under ESSA, raising questions about whether waiting until third grade to gauge performance is too late to catch under-performing students. ESSA requires annual assessments for students in grades three through eight, but the article argues this starts “much too late” and by third grade, low-performing schools have “left many children so far behind they may never catch up.” While ESSA has given states flexibility to design their accountability systems, it does not provide incentives to create systems that account for early education evaluations. Due to budget constraints and new reforms, Mead argues that implementing early education assessments could be “a hard sell” for lawmakers.