Test-Based Accountability in Distressed Times
When COVID-19 forced a hiatus in federally mandated assessments in spring 2020, it interrupted a quarter century of effort to track, disaggregate, and publicize achievement levels at the school level. The aborted school year put a big data gap where 2020 scores should have been. Combined with the already raging assaults on testing, state education leaders find themselves in a fraught and difficult place.
Also In this Issue
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.