Standards and Assessments

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

New Mexico Reshaping Tests and Evaluations and Resubmit Plans

New Mexico’s Public Education Department is set to begin changes to the state’s standardized test and teacher evaluations. Last week the department posted surveys for local stakeholders to weigh in on the upcoming changes. After the feedback period closes, PED plans to resubmit their state…

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New Take on Education Equity

Ashley Jochim, senior research analyst at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, notes the growing skills shift students need from traditional academics to non-achievement-based educational outcomes. She explains that ESSA, “implicitly recognizes this shift with its requirement that assessment of a non-academic measure of student…

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NGA’s Education Focus

At last week’s SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, NGA’s education policy director, Seth Gerson discussed how the 39 newly-elected governors across the country are “uniquely education-focused.” And because each state ESSA plan had been approved in fall of last year, Gerson notes that “governors didn’t…

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Will New Mexico’s ESSA Changes Test DeVos?

“New Mexico is planning a major shakeup of its plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act,” writes Alyson Klein for Education Week. “And it’s not the only state that’s mulling changes. Among those with potential revisions in the works: Indiana, Michigan, South Carolina, and…

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A “Consumer’s Guide” to ESSA Testing

A new National Education Policy Center (NEPC) report from Madhabi Chatterji examines the testing and accountability landscape in the wake of federal approval of state ESSA plans. The report looks at how states should be “alert to any unexpected negative outcomes of testing on students,…

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DC Data Analysis Holds Answers to Special Ed Questions

Reporting for The 74, Sarah Berger Sandelius highlights three takeaways from D.C. data on special education. While “evidence shows that addressing the needs of our most diverse learners presents a tremendous opportunity, with benefits for the entire education community,” she writes. “We have a lot…

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Only 16 States Tracking Foster Care Students Under ESSA

To help address the challenges faced by students in foster care, ESSA requires states to publicly report how such students are faring on state tests and the rates at which they are graduating high school, Kate Stringer reports for The 74. “But right now, only…

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ESSA Implementation, Illinois, and Student Outcome Requirements

Elliot Regenstein, Ben Boer, and Paul Zavitkovsky take a look at the implementation of ESSA’s student outcome requirements in Illinois. The state’s Board of Education “has set a goal of having 90 percent of students achieve proficiency on state standardized tests.” And Although ESSA “was…

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“Data Flub” Could Cost Needy Vermont Schools Thousands in Federal Dollars

According to a former top Vermont Agency Education official, Vermont “risks running afoul of federal law if it doles out over $2 million in school improvement dollars the way it intends,” Lola Duffort reports for VTDigger.com. The “agency has had problems rolling out a new…

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Should Ed Tech Take “Back Seat” to Learning Structure?

Ryan Johnston reports for EdScoop News on a new set of policy priorities from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), which state that “acquiring new classroom technology for students to explore isn’t as important as reforming the pedagogical structure they’re learning in.” These…

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New Mexico’s New Ed Secretary to Submit ESSA Waiver Requests

Robert Nott writes in the Santa Fe New Mexican that New Mexico’s new Education Secretary Karen Trujillo and her team are “working to create and submit waivers to the state’s plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act,” which are “designed to give districts more…

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$387 Million For Innovative Assessments Available Starting Monday

Starting Monday, states will be able to apply for $378 million in competitive funding from the U.S. Dept. of Education to put toward innovative assessments, Alyson Klein reports in Education Week. “As required by the Every Student Succeeds Act, the department is looking to give…

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“Hodge Podge” of State Approaches to Measuring Post-High School Readiness

States are taking a varied approach to measuring post-high school readiness. According to Education Week’s Alyson Klein, “nearly every state is gauging school performance in part by whether students show that they are ready for life after high school.”  She notes thatthe big reason for…

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Arizona Releases New Online Report Card

According to AZCentral.com, the Arizona Department of Education has created a website to provide “data about the state’s schools, all in one place.” The site was created to meet “federal reporting requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act,” and includes “information about individual schools, including…

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Louisiana’s John White Talks Challenges and Opportunities Under ESSA

In this FutureEd interview, Louisiana Chief John White discusses the state’s participation in the U.S. Dept. of Education’s innovative assessment pilot. “Our hope is that the new assessments will create an incentive for teachers to focus on the meaning of texts, to focus on building…

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Chief Architect of ESSA, Sen. Lamar Alexander, to Retire

Alyson Klein and Andrew Ujifusa report for Education Week that “U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who has been Capitol Hill’s leading Republican on education issues for years” announced that he’s retiring in 2020. Sen. Alexander was a chief architect of the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act…

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Maryland releases first public school star rankings

“Last week Maryland released the results of its first-ever report card grading system for state schools,” WBAL Baltimore reports. The system uses a 5-star rating system, with rankings “based on academic and non-academic factors” including “progress in achieving English language proficiency for English Learners, chronic…

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Oklahoma’s School Report Cards Have “New Focus”

Jennifer Palmer reports for the Enid News & Eagle that after “a two-year hiatus,” Oklahoma’s school report cards are back. But now they have a new focus: “The school accountability tool underwent a significant revamp” under ESSA “and now will include student test scores, a…

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NM Proposes Tougher Accountability Rules

According to Shelby Perea in the Albuquerque Journal, in the final weeks of Governor Susana Martinez’ tenure, the state Public Education Department is proposing a number of rule changes, including for school accountability and interventions. If approved, the potential regulatory shift “would put parts of…

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SC Schools to Get Report Cards for 1st Time in Four Years

Ariel Gilreath reports for the Greenville Journal that for “anyone familiar with South Carolina’s annual school and district report cards, this year’s version (to be released this week) will not only look completely different, but will also highlight new data than in previous years.” The…

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GA Identifies Struggling Schools

Ty Tagami reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia’s Department of Education has released its first list of schools “in need of additional support.” These 103 schools officially fall into the state’s Comprehensive Support & Improvement category, which is “derived from the College and Career Ready Performance Index,…

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Military-Family Struggles at Beginning of School Year—and how MSI Could Help

Kiera Gallagher, M.Ed, a teacher at Albritton Middle School at Fort Bragg and an Army spouse, reflects on the struggles military families like her own face and how such families “cross their fingers” during the back to school period of the year. She writes that each time…

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ESSA & Tracking College-and-Career Readiness

Alyson Klein answers more questions as part of Education Week’s “Answering Your ESSA Questions” series. This week, Harvard University graduate student Alex Sabin asks: “An ESSA accountability system can include a school success ‘measure’ outside of test scores such as college-and-career readiness. However, what exactly…

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Struggling Schools in Virginia, Equity, and ESSA

Virginia’s Department of Education has released a report identifying the state’s lowest-performing schools, Justin Mattingly reports for the Richmond Times Dispatch. Nineteen schools in Richmond were identified “as needing support” under ESSA. “This is the first year the state Education Department has identified schools that…

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Four More States Looking to Leverage Innovative Assessment Pilot Program

Alyson Klein reports in Education Week how in the wake of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ September decision to open ESSA’s Innovative Assessment Pilot to a second round of applications, four states—Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, and South Carolina—have “raised their hands” regarding their interest in participating. If approved, they would…

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