Cover Image for The Standard, January 2016. Click Image to Download IssueThe new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives state policy leaders greater responsibility for determining the role of their assessments in state accountability systems. While searching for the right assessments, states must measure what matters.  In this issue of The State Education Standard, authors argue for states to take a fresh, vigorous look at how all the pieces fit together; they provide guidance and resources to help maximize assessment quality and outcomes and share examples from states that have succeeded in developing coherent assessment systems.

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Not As Easy as It Sounds: Designing a Balanced Assessment System
Having learned that one type of assessment cannot do it all, states must figure out how to fit many pieces together to make a complete picture.
By Rajendra Chattergoon and Scott Marion 

Accountability for What Matters
Data dashboards can help states and districts better track the indicators and outcomes they deem most important without drowning in data.
By Robert Rothman

Aligning the K-12 Academic Journey with a Postsecondary Destination
States can track how well their students are progressing toward career readiness, and North Carolina shows how it’s done.
By Malbert Smith III and Gary L. Williamson

Leveraging Principal Evaluations to Scale Up Instructional Improvement
States and districts can get more bang for the buck by giving serious attention to developing great principals.
By Benjamin Fenton

Georgia’s Teacher Performance Assessment
A focus on assessing new teacher candidates on classroom performance goes statewide.
By Anne Marie Fenton and Pamela Wetherington

New Hampshire’s Accountability 3.0
How New Hampshire is overhauling its system for school accountability.
By Paul Leather

Making Sense of New Science Assessments
New state science standards that integrate core ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and practices cry out for assessments that do likewise.
By James W. Pellegrino

The NASBE Interview: Linda Darling-Hammond