We Should Listen to the Canaries
Students with disabilities and English learners rank high among those facing the greatest academic challenges in public education. Like canaries in the coal mine, these students are often the first to reveal how conditions in schools are not adequately supporting students’ academic growth. Their mandated participation in alternate statewide assessments offers insights into why that might be.
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.