News

January 14, 2019

Streamlined student testing to be instituted in New Mexico

A week after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order ending the statewide use of reading and math proficiency exams known as PARCC, the Public Education Department said schools will be administering new tests this spring. The new exams, called the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment of Mathematics and English Language Arts are reported to shorten students’ test time in each subject area by 1 to 1.5 hours, or about 30 percent. The spring tests will be a sort of stopgap to fulfill federal requirements until the state develops a wholly new system of evaluating students.

January 7, 2019

States Allowed to Try More Than One Test as Part of Innovative Assessment Pilot?

According to a December message from federal officials to the Georgia Department of Education, state officials who are thinking about applying for ESSA’s Innovative Assessment pilot program “don’t have to pick just one exam for your test drive—but you do have to end up with a single test in the end.” The news that more than one test is allowed in the initial phases of the pilot “is a potential game-changer for states who want in on the pilot but haven’t settled on an assessment for every district to use.” However, it is unclear if this approach adheres to existing ESSA regulations on piloting a single innovative assessment system.

January 7, 2019

New Mexico’s new governor ending PARCC standardized testing to evaluate students, teachers

New Mexico’s new governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham signed executive orders to suspend and replace the controversial PARCC test, the standardized exam used in schools to evaluate students and teachers. PARCC was implemented in the state under former governor Susana Martinez and Hanna Skandera, the former secretary for public education in New Mexico, who were supporters of high-stakes tests to evaluate students and teachers. Grisham’s move was the second hit that PARCC sustained this week after The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state could not use PARCC as a requirement for graduation from high school graduation.

January 7, 2019

N.J. Court Strikes Down High School Graduation Test Requirements

New Jersey cannot mandate that students pass two state exams before they can graduate high school, a state appellate court has ruled. The unanimous decision was made public Monday, December 31, 2018 but will not take effect for 30 days. It invalidates the state Department of Education's requirement that students must pass standardized exams—commonly known as the PARCC tests—in Algebra I and English. The three-judge panel found the requirement which was approved in 2016 and was due to take effect with the class of 2020—does not match a state law that requires students to pass just a single test in 11th grade in order to graduate.

December 6, 2018

Choosing and Using SEL Competency Assessments: What Schools and Districts Need to Know

Jointly developed by the Assessment Work Group and researchers from the RAND Corporation's Assessment Finder project, this report provides school and district leaders and implementation teams with guidance on how to choose and use social and emotional learning (SEL) competency assessments. It also discusses the benefits and challenges of measuring SEL competencies, what to consider when choosing an SEL competency assessment, and guidance for using SEL competency data in practice.

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