Standards and Assessments

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

Improving Scores in Louisiana, But Most Students Still Face Challenges

According to New Orleans City Business, public school students in Louisiana are doing better on standardized tests, but most students are still not meeting proficiency standards, as outlined in the state’s accountability plan. “The results released today show our students and educators are making gains…

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States Looking to Implement Innovative Assessment Models

In Education Dive, Linda Jacobson takes a look at a recent Bellwether Education Partners “State of Assessment” report, which “comes as the federal government is considering applications for a $17.6 million competitive grant program that would support efforts in four to eight states related to these…

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California Contemplates Fifth-Year Grad Rate

According to John Fensterwald at EdSource, California “may soon join most states in creating a 5-year high school graduation rate as a way of crediting districts and high schools that help students who return to school after senior year to earn a diploma.” This new…

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Work-Based Learning & ESSA

Last month, in this guest ECS post, Advance CTE’s Senior Policy Associate Austin Estes examined the latest research on, as well as state examples of, work-based learning as it has been put into practice. “While work-based learning is often delivered at the local level in…

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Helping Military Students in the Classroom

In this Military Times piece, Military Families for High Standards examines how we can all help military-connected students achieve in the classroom. The article notes that there “are many resources for educators on best practices for how to create a welcoming learning environment for military…

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Local Pennsylvania Businesses Partner with Schools

According to Eric Morris at the Uniontown Herald Standard, local businesses are bringing in teachers from local schools to observe daily operations “with the hope it helps grow STEM curricula and the Teacher in the Workplace (TIW) program,” a “state-funded initiative that places educators at…

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State University of New York Campus to Waive Tuition for High School Courses

George Stockburger reports for MyTwinTiers.com that “SUNY Corning Community College will eliminate tuition charges for high school students who take SUNY CCC courses that are taught in their high schools, effective with the Fall 2019 semester.” This move comes as the state’s budget for the upcoming school…

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Interview with Bob Wise

In this piece, “Reflections of a School Reformer,” FutureEd’s Thomas Toch interviews Bob Wise, who recently departed as president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. Toch asked Wise to “reflect on the evolution of the school reform movement during his time at the Alliance,” including…

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Reviewing Equitable Educational Opportunities Under ESSA

In this blog post from the Latino Policy Forum, Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro and Karen Garibay-Mulattieri take a look at “the promise of equitable educational opportunities” for English learners under ESSA, with a focus on Illinois. “The Forum advocates for accountability systems which help us to understand…

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NCSL Releases ESSA State Plan Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures’ College and Career Readiness State Legislation Project released a new ESSA State Plan Database of all state accountability plans submitted to and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The database allows users to access individual state profiles and…

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Arizona Unveils Temporary School Rating Plan

Breanna Edwards reports for the Arizona Daily Star that Arizona has “decided how it will adapt its hotly debated A-F letter grading system” for districts that choose to stop using the AzMerit assessment. The State Board of Education will evaluate growth based on student subgroup…

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DeVos Talks ESSA, Budget in Recent Public Appearances

“After weathering a political storm over the Trump administration’s proposed budget at the end of March, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos continued her run of public appearances into April,” writes Andrew Ujifusa for Education Week. “DeVos received widely varied reactions from state education leaders…

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Arizona Could Lose Funding Over Assessments

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, in 2016, a bipartisan majority of Arizona legislators “approved a law allowing school districts to offer a ‘menu of assessments’ to choose from, such as the SAT or ACT, rather than one statewide standardized test, currently the AZMerit test.”…

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California School Climate Efforts Showing Results

“Like California, 24 states across the country are measuring school climate, including 10 that are providing resources to improve social and emotional learning, according to the Learning Policy Institute,” writes Julie Patel Liss for EdSource. “Amid a growing body of research about the role of…

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Education Week Drops Massive ESSA Report

Recently, Education Week published a special, multi-part report offering “a big-picture look at the state of play on ESSA nationally, along with deeper dives into issues of school accountability, student assessment, data transparency, and school improvement.” Below, we outline a couple of the most interesting…

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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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