The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

September 2020Volume 20, No. 3
Next-Generation Assessment


Bowing to the realities of the pandemic, states halted summative testing in spring 2020, with a federal blessing. For the handful of state education leaders responsible for monitoring how the system overall is providing equitable instruction, there is no substitute for a comparable test that compares how schools, districts, and subgroups of students are doing at a snapshot in time and allows states to make decisions on how to direct scarce resources. In the face of such flux, state boards must make decisions about assessment and accountability.


Next-Generation Assessment



States Experiment with Assessment through Innovative Pilots

By Joseph Hedger

Five states received federal waivers for regular assessments so they could pilot assessment systems in select districts or schools over five years.





Performance Assessments: Promises and Pitfalls

By Marianne Perie

By learning from the past, state boards can add depth and relevance to their assessment systems.





We Should Listen to the Canaries

By Ellen Forte

How alternate assessments for students with disabilities and English learners can point us toward better systems for all.





How a Crisis Can Transform Learning, Teaching, and Assessment

By Abby Javurek and Jason Mendenhall

State policymakers should take the opportunity to reimagine their education systems.






Breakthrough or Breakdown? School Accountability in Flux

By Chris Domaleski

Time to steer systems toward better balance and coherence.





Test-Based Accountability in Distressed Times

By Chester E. Finn Jr. and Eric A. Hanushek

State leaders should stick with their assessments because they improve student learning and school performance.





Four Test Questions for State Boards

By Abigail Potts

These questions can help frame conversations on assessment approval and intersections with state accountability.





A Shifting Landscape for State Testing

By Lynn Olson

It is important to understand the history of state summative assessment in the United States.








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Leadership preparation programs and state and district leaders all have a role to play in building principals’ capacity to face crises with resilience and lead in ways that best serve students and support and retain teachers.

Building Trauma-Informed School Systems

This analysis highlights ways states can embed trauma-informed practices in mandated teacher training and ensure that schools reduce the risks to teachers from STS.

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