High School Assessment in a New Era: What Policymakers Need to Know

achieveAchieve has partnered with the Center for Assessment to release a new brief to help state policymakers identify key action steps to consider as they make decisions about high school assessments. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states a new opportunity in how they approach high school assessment. Most significantly, it will allow states to use “nationally-recognized high school academic assessments” such as college entrance exams (ACT or SAT) as their sole high school assessment for accountability purposes, and give states the option to permit individual districts to do so in lieu of the state high school test.

Given these changes, states now face important decisions about which high school assessments to use and for what purposes. In order to approach these decisions in a thoughtful manner and find the best solution for their state, there are several critical issues that policymakers need to understand. This brief helps state policymakers make sense of these issues as they move forward with decision making around high school assessments.

Issues addressed include the following:

  • Purposes for High School Assessment
  • Use for School and District Accountability
  • Credibility with Stakeholders
  • Alignment with State Standards and College and Career Readiness
  • Students’ Ability to Show what they Know
  • Cut Scores and Performance Levels
  • State Oversight and Control

To read more, go to: http://www.achieve.org/publications/high-school-assessment-new-era-what-policymakers-need-know