Standards and Assessments

Below are the most recent news, reports, and recommendations around standards and assessments.

DeVos Reopens Innovative Assessment Pilot Application Process

Education Week’s Klein reports that the U.S. Dept. of Education “is inviting more state applications” for ESSA’s Innovative Assessment Pilot, “which allows states to try out new types of tests in a handful of districts before taking them statewide.” States need to inform federal officials of…

0 comments

NY State “Softens” ESSA-Driven Test Participation Regulations

Alex Zimmerman reports for Chalkbeat that New York’s school districts “where lots of students sit out annual state tests will not have to set aside federal funding under new rules” released by New York’s education department. The new rules “soften several aspects of the state’s…

0 comments

Priorities for Changing Testing Environment Under ESSA

At Education Next, Laura Slover and Lesley Muldoon discuss the multiple priorities they have identified for states and districts as they “evolve their testing regimes” under ESSA. These include rigor, transparency, and timely results. They call for education leaders “to hold firm on these advances…

0 comments

State Officials Announce Delay in School Reports

According to Shelly Conlon of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the state’s annual school report cards won’t be released until November because of a “number of new items” added under ESSA. This includes “information on how many students go on to college, discipline numbers and…

0 comments

TN and Feds Finally Come to Agreement on School Ratings

After months of negotiations, “federal and Tennessee education officials have come to terms on how to identify and address the state’s lowest-performing schools in light of last spring’s problem-plagued student assessment program,” Marta W. Aldrich reports for Chalkbeat. This agreement “navigates conflicting state and federal…

0 comments

ESSA Preschool Development Grants Building “Foundation of Success”

In The 74, Sarah Rittling makes the case for the importance of early childhood education, and says that ESSA “more fully incorporates state and local efforts to expand early childhood education and the connections that exist between early learning and the K-12 system” as well as “establishes…

0 comments

NY District Uses ESSA to Create “Academy of Excellence” 

According to Tom Dinki at the Olean Times Herald, the Olean City School District in New York wants more of its students to be “halfway toward earning their college diploma by the time they graduate high school,” so the district is developing an “Academy of Excellence,” which…

0 comments

States Ready to Apply for ESSA’s Preschool Development Grants

According to Linda Jacobson at Education Dive, starting this week, states will have the ability to start applying for a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in Preschool Development Grants under ESSA that they can use to “expand access to and improve the coordination and quality of early-childhood education programs for children…

0 comments

Challenges and Questions ESSA Presents for Districts 

With the school year fast approaching, Alyson Klein asks in Education Week what is “the toughest part of the Every Student Succeeds Act for districts to get a handle on?” To find out, she asked a few experts, including Noelle Ellerson Ng from The School Superintendents Association, Jeff Simering…

0 comments

Louisiana Officials Select Districts for Innovative Assessment Pilot

According to the Ouachita Citizen, the Louisiana Department of Education recently “announced the state’s proposal to pilot an innovative English assessment,” which is the first to be approved by the U.S. Department of Education under.” The five school districts that will serve as initial partners…

0 comments

Utah Survey to Determine Why Students Opt Out of Assessments

Utah’s State School Board’s internal auditors are planning to conduct an audit to “determine why growing numbers of Utah schoolchildren have opted out of standardized testing in recent years,” Marjorie Cortez writes for KSL news. The state’s opt-out rate was a “sticking point” in winning…

0 comments

Smarter Balanced Gets “Thumbs Up” from Federal Officials

Stephen Sawchuk reports for Education Week that Nevada’s use of the Smarter Balanced test, “one of the major providers of tests measuring the Common Core State Standards,” has “met all of the U.S. Department of Education’s requirements for grades 3-8.” This represents the first time…

0 comments

Louisiana First State to Win Approval for “Innovative Assessment” Pilot

According to Alyson Klein at Education Week, Louisiana is the first state to get approval from the U.S. Department of Education to participate in ESSA’s “Innovative Assessment” pilot, which “allows up to seven states to try out new kinds of tests in a handful of…

0 comments

SAT vs. ACT Under ESSA

Elaine Chen reports for Chalkbeat that in a “fight between two giant standardized test providers, the SAT again has won a multi-million-dollar contract for Illinois’ high-school tests—and the also-ran ACT is filing a protest with the Illinois State Board of Education.” The state is not…

0 comments

State Faces “Quandary” on Opt Outs Under ESSA

Newsday’s Lane Filler writes that the “federal government requires that students in third through eighth grades take standardized tests in math and English each year, and requires that districts and schools have at least 95 percent of their eligible students take those tests.” At the…

0 comments

ESSA and the Anti-Test Movement

“Just a few short years ago, there were real questions about whether Congress would ditch annual, standardized assessments as part of a makeover of the nation’s main K-12 education law,” writes Alyson Klein in Education Week. “At the same time, parents were increasingly choosing to opt…

0 comments

Utah Officials Accept Participation Rate Provision as Part of Approval

According to Benjamin Wood in the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah schools are “poised to take a hit from parents who excuse their children from year-end tests.” After several requests for flexibility under ESSA’s participation rate provisions, the Utah Board of Education has “agreed to count…

0 comments

CAP “Blueprint” for Alternative High Schools and Accountability

This month, the Center for American Progress released a report that provides recommendations that aim to improve stakeholders’ “ability to conduct much-needed investigation into the experience of students in alternative schools, while striking a balance between accurate measurement and rigorous expectations.” ESSA “requires that proficiency…

0 comments

Special Ed Testing Waivers Worrying Advocates

Education Week’s Alyson Klein reports that Education Secretary DeVos “has allowed nearly half of states to get wiggle room” from an ESSA provision “aimed at making sure that only a small percentage of students are taking alternative tests reserved for children with the most significant…

0 comments

State Assessments, Teacher Evaluations, and ESSA

The National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado published a policy brief by Kevin Close, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, and Clarin Collins that examines state-level assessments and teacher evaluation systems in the ESSA context and offers “some steps in the right direction.”

0 comments

Opt-Outs under ESSA

Education Week answers the question: “What are the federal guidelines for ‘testing transparency?’ Schools are mandated to get 95 percent participation, but how is that possible is [sic] we tell parents of their opt out rights?” The answer? The law “says that states and schools must test…

0 comments

Can Districts Pick SAT or ACT for Accountability?

As part of Education Week‘s ongoing series answering reader questions about ESSA, Alyson Klein responds to the following query from an anonymous reader: “Do districts need state permission to take advantage of new ESSA flexibility to substitute a nationally recognized, college-entrance exam (like the SAT…

0 comments

Tough Proficiency Standards Sticking Under ESSA?

Kevin Mahnken reports for The 74 on the findings of a new study from Education Next Editor and Harvard professor Paul Peterson and Harvard postdoctoral fellow Daniel Hamlin, which finds that “proficiency standards on state tests have grown more stringent over the past few years,…

0 comments

Evaluate Schools Through More Than Just Test Scores Under ESSA?

The Education Research Alliance for New Orleans “released a new study that explores how school ratings would change if states evaluated school performance differently.” Sara Slaughter reports for News from Tulane that, as the “national debate on how states should measure school performance under” ESSA…

0 comments

State Grad Requirements Not Making the Grade for Public Universities

A recent Center for American Progress report finds that while high school graduation rates have soared in recent years “in the vast majority of states, simply attaining a high school diploma does not qualify students to attend a public university.” Study co-author Laura Jimenez said, “There really just isn’t…

0 comments