Standards and Assessments

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

Report Card on Iowa Schools Shows Improvement Over Last Year

A school report card released by the Iowa Department of Education shows schools statewide are improving compared to last year. The online tool was designed to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act and also includes “components of a state report card that…

A Look into New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment for Competency Education

In 2018, New Hampshire became only the second state “approved to participate in the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) pilot program under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).” The program, known as Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE), is an “innovative assessment system that determines…

Pittsburg Schools On Alert as Chronic Absenteeism Rates Set to Increase this Year

According to data presented to the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) board last week, “chronic absenteeism was set to increase by nearly 3%,” raising concerns among district officials. According to Ted Dwyer, chief of data, research, assessment and accountability for PPS, chronically absent students—those who miss…

Delaware School District Proposes Changing Statewide Testing System

While the federal “Every Student Succeeds Act requires testing in every grade between 3-8 and once in high school,” one school district in Delaware—the Brandywine School District—believes the state’s “Smarter Balanced test is not the correct assessment for students.” Brandywine School Board President Ralph Ackerman…

In 2020, Look Out for Continued Innovations in Assessment Models Nationwide

According to Education Dive, “continued innovations and shifts in assessment” could be one of the top-five K-12 trends to watch out for in 2020. Following a year marked by “investment by states and districts in the additional decision-making freedom” enabled by ESSA, we can expect…

A Shift on School Accountability Could Be an Issue to Watch in 2020

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have been given “an opportunity to make some of their own choices about how to hold teachers and schools accountable for performance.” With many of the new plans just starting to take effect, the future of these varying…

Florida Legislators Introduce Bill to Let English-Language Learners Test in Native Languages

While the Every Student Succeeds Act requires states “to ‘make every effort’ to provide required exams in languages other than English if needed,” Florida’s Department of Education received an exemption in 2017 by arguing that English is Florida’s official language. Now, a bipartisan group of…

Progress Toward Improved Assessments Remains Slow

Even as policies shift “to accommodate experimentation on the path to better assessment,” progress remains slow despite traditional, standardized approaches not producing the desired results, according to Education Dive. As more educators recognize the “need for more creative and critical thinking,” they are increasingly turning…

New York State Encourages School Districts to Make AP Courses More Diverse

Education officials in New York State are “pushing school districts to make Advanced Placement and other top courses more widely available to all high school students, particularly African-American and Hispanic students, as part of an ongoing emphasis on promoting educational equity across New York,” reports…

Collaboration is the Key to Addressing Education and Economic Inequality

The Every Student Succeed Act pushes “states, districts and schools to identify key measures of school quality and to examine and act on the gaps in outcomes and opportunities for historically marginalized student groups.” This latest phase in the evolution of K-12 accountability can and…

NYC & the Forgotten Art of Teaching the Arts

“Why, in the New York City public school system, are the arts still being relegated to the realm of the extracurricular?” asks Penny Smith, Executive Director of Education Through Music. In this piece, which argues in favor of supporting the arts in education as a…

More School Districts Look to “Through-Year” Assessments to Inform Instruction

School districts in Georgia and Nebraska will be implementing new testing models under ESSA’s Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority program in the coming months and years, according to Linda Jacobson for Education Dive. The goal of these new “through-year” assessments is to “phase out reliance” on…

In-Depth Discussion Looking Back on Four Years of ESSA

On Tuesday, December 10, the Collaborative for Student Success is hosting an afternoon discussion of ESSA four years to the day after the law was signed. Taking place at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., this special event will include a conversation with ESSA’s…

Taking a Closer Look at the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority Provision of ESSA

In a two-part series for the Center for Assessment, Charlie DePascale takes a close look at the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which “ostensibly offers states the flexibility needed to ‘establish, operate, and evaluate an innovative assessment system’…

Many Arkansas Schools Graded A

As Cynthia Howell reports for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, “a total of 169 of Arkansas’ 1,026 school campuses earned A grades from the state for the 2018-19 school year, an increase of 17 over the previous year,” according to state education leaders. The letter grades…

Montana Gets $50-Million Federal Literacy Grant

According to the Sydney Herald, Montana has received a five-year, $50 million literacy grant from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Striving Readers Comprehensive State Development Program. The grant has several “outcome expectations,” including increasing “the percentage of all participating disadvantaged student…

Idaho Afterschool Program Grants

Recently, the Idaho State Department of Education announced that $1.5 million of grant money will be available for the next academic year through the state’s 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool program. Education agencies, community-based organizations, tribal organizations, and others are encouraged to apply (by…

When Summative and Formative Markets Collide

“What happens when the $1.3 billion state summative assessment market begins to merge with the growing $1.6 billion market for formative assessments?” asks David DeSchryver in Ed Surge. “Investors and the education community are closely watching emerging models and how they could shape the markets…

Connecting Schools with Art Resources

Linda Jacobson reports in Education Dive about Ingenuity, a Chicago arts education advocacy organization that has created Artlook—an online tool that “connects schools with arts organizations wanting to partner with them.” Ingenuity is collaborating with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to…

“Left Behind” Kids “Made Incredible Progress from 90s to Great Recession”

This summer, the Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli has been “trying to make sense of the sizable gains made by America’s lowest-performing students and kids of color that coincided with the peak of the modern education reform movement.” He wraps up his series on this topic…

ESSA’s Impact on State Assessment Landscape

State standardized testing is changing rapidly in the post-No Child Left Behind era. A new report, The New Testing Landscape: How State Assessments are Changing Under the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act, from FutureEd explores emerging trends, including the expanded use of college entrance exams for high…

North Carolina Releases Interim Progress Report

Last week, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released data “on the interim progress that North Carolina schools are making to reach long-term, 10-year goals, a new reporting requirement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.” For this, the second year of interim goals,…

Secretary DeVos Talks ESSA at Alaska Forum

According to KUAC, last week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was in Alaska, where she discussed ESSA (among other topics) with state education stakeholders. Hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, the round-table discussion focused on workforce development. At the event, participants “talked about the…

New Data Tool Demonstrates College and Career Readiness Gap

“Researchers probing a new, interactive ‘data explorer’ that matches students’ outcomes with college and career readiness measures found that—while nearly all students are graduating from high school in some states—fewer than half are considered ready for college or careers,” reports Michele Molnar for EdWeek Market Brief. “The digital database, released…

Indiana Governor Calls for Delay in Assessment Consequences

Indiana Governor Eric Holoclm is calling on the Indiana legislature to “delay consequences for schools after the state learned ILEARN scores dropped” when compared to the previous assessment, ISTEP+. “This action will ease the transition to ILEARN, which is a student assessment that allows Indiana…