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.








Featured Items

Removing Barriers to LGBTQ Student Safety and Achievement

Comprehensive protections from bullying and harassment help everyone.
Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages i

Five Questions State Boards Should Ask about Accelerated Learning

As states leverage American Rescue Plan funding to safely reopen schools and expand opportunities for summer learning, accelerating learning has risen to the top of their priorities. Here are five questions state boards of education can ask.
Image Credit: iStock i

Reimagining School

Bolstered by American Rescue Plan funds and lessons learned during pandemic-induced school closures, state policymakers have an opportunity to reexamine and reform their education systems.

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