Education Week survey shows more stable state testing environment nationwide

Dive Brief:

  • Education Week’s third-annual survey of state tests found a more stable environment nationwide, in comparison to the 2014-15 school year, when 45 states planned to try new, Common Core-aligned exams.
  • Twenty-eight states have since opted for other tests, and at the high school level, 25 states require students to take the ACT or SAT while 12 of them use the college entrance exams for federal accountability measures, according to Education Week.
  • Two fewer states than last year (12) require high schoolers to pass a test to qualify for their diplomas, and in most of those states it is a standardized test — though some allow students to demonstrate mastery through portfolio presentations.

Dive Insight:

Federal education law requires districts to test students every year in third through eighth grade and once in high school to provide a database of achievement for accountability purposes. The ACT and SAT have become more popular for the high school test, especially as states scrambled to replace Common Core-aligned exams that created a massive backlash among parents.

The Every Student Succeeds Act specifically says these college entrance exams can be used to measure achievement, but some states have been criticized for doing so  and even threatened with sanctions  because the tests don't align well enough with the state curriculum standards.

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Filed Under: K12
Top image credit: Flickr user ccarlstead