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.
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.
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.
Federal Commission on School Safety Releases Comprehensive Resource Guide for Keeping Students, Teachers Safe at School
The Federal Commission on School Safety (Commission) released a 177-page report detailing 93 best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country. Utilizing the information gathered, the Commission report offers a holistic approach to improving school safety, ranging from supporting the social and emotional well-being of students to enhancing physical building security. The report serves as a resource guide for families, educators, law enforcement officers, health professionals, and elected leaders to use as they consider the best ways to prevent, mitigate, and recover from acts of violence in schools. The recommendations are based on efforts that are already working in states and local communities.
Developmental education assessment and placement policies guide how students may demonstrate college readiness and are placed into college-level courses. States and postsecondary systems use a variety of measures to determine a student’s college readiness. To provide a national perspective on developmental education assessment and placement policies, Education Commission of the States researched state-level and postsecondary system policies to create this comprehensive resource on a 50-State Comparison, showing how states and postsecondary systems approach these policies.