Volume 20, No. 3
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.
Five states received federal waivers for regular assessments so they could pilot assessment systems in select districts or schools over five years.
By learning from the past, state boards can add depth and relevance to their assessment systems.
How alternate assessments for students with disabilities and English learners can point us toward better systems for all.
State policymakers should take the opportunity to reimagine their education systems.
Time to steer systems toward better balance and coherence.
State leaders should stick with their assessments because they improve student learning and school performance.
These questions can help frame conversations on assessment approval and intersections with state accountability.