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.







Opinion



From the President’s Pen: Looking in the Mirror

By Robert Hull

The relentless pursuit of equity and excellence begins at the board table—not at the schoolhouse door.





Young black man speaking on panel. Image credit: iStock

Student Voice: Teaching Students to the Test

By Dorcas Olatunji

Education should be fun and collaborative. Instead, it produces anxiety and fails to encourage students to love learning.





Business meeting handshake. Image credit: iStock

NCOSEA Voice: The Silver Lining of COVID-19

By Holly Farris

In the face of the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19, there have been countless examples of people coming together.





Serious African American woman makes a point during meeting. Image credit: iStock

We the Media: Communicating in Anxiety-Laden Times

By Renée Rybak Lang

In the face of shifting, sometimes conflicting guidance, reopening schools is easier said than done. For communicating in uncertain times, my advice is this: Manage change with authority.







Featured Items

Multiracial group of teachers walking in school hallway. Image credit: iStock i

Strengthening the Principal Pipeline through State Leadership Academies

Missouri, Delaware, and North Carolina have developed evidence-based professional learning for current and prospective school leaders to increase their effectiveness and reduce turnover.
A multi-ethnic group of seven children standing in a row in a school hallway, laughing and smiling at the camera. The little boys and girls are kindergarten or preschool age, 4 to 6 years. i

State Advances in Early Childhood Education Seed Plans for 2024

In 2023, several states made significant strides toward universal pre-K, increased funding and support for early educators, and improved literacy and math instruction.
Business people sitting on books. Image credit: iStock i

Curriculum That Counts

Authors in this issue of the Standard draw lessons from a spectrum of state policies that are being used to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum.

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