Trends in State Assessment Selection and Implementation


Policymakers currently face major challenges when it comes to assessments. Are the assessments aligned to the state’s standards? Are students spending too much time taking tests? Should new assessments be used in school performance ratings?

These questions, among others, loom large when states tackle the subject of assessment-related policy. A new report from Education Commission of the States called Testing Trends: Considerations for choosing and using assessments highlights the ways some states have determined which assessments to use and how to use those assessments.

The Education Commission of the States observed three trends that have emerged as states chose
assessments: 1) shifting consortia membership, 2) blending assessment items and 3) the use of a college entrance exam to replace state tests. The organization has observed four emerging assessment issues that relate

to: 1) transitions to new assessments, 2) concerns with testing time and quantity, 3) opting out
of assessments and 4) concerns about the timeliness and comparability of results.

Important takeaways from this report include the following:

  • States are limiting test administration time, eliminating duplicate assessments and switching assessment providers, among other strategies  to ease the testing burden.
  • The testing landscape is in a continuous state of flux as many states shift consortia membership and assessment providers or change testing requirements.
  • Tough transitions to new assessments, testing time and quantity, student opt-outs and concerns about test results are challenges facing many policymakers.

To read the full report, see Testing Trends


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