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Assessment Opt-Out Policies: State responses to parent pushback - Confusion is growing as parents increasingly want to opt their children out of state tests. Some state policies are clear on this issue, but many are still working through the process. This ECS Education Trends report highlights the myriad ways states are addressing this hot-button issue. (Stephanie Aragon, Julie Rowland and Micah Ann Wixom, ECS, February 2015) ...

50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments in 2014-15 - This document provides a high-level overview of the two testing consortia and federal testing requirements, and then provides a snapshot of what assessments are planned in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., during the 2014-15 academic year. (Tonette Salazar, ECS, November 2014)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Assessment - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Assessment--End-of-Course - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Cheating - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

End-of-Course Exams PDF - This report identifies the states with current or pending state-level end-of-course assessment (EOC) programs, the subjects in which EOCs are administered in the states, and the EOCs (if any) students must pass to graduate from high school. (Jennifer Dounay Zinth, Education Commission of the States, March 2012)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Assessment--Formative/Interim - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Assessment--Value Added - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

What Governors Need to Know: Highlights of State Education Systems PDF - This multistate compilation includes states' number of operating districts, average students per district, per-student spending, free or reduced-price lunch eligible students, percent of K-12 revenue from state sources, state and local school revenue, full-day kindergarten requirements, compulsory school ages and more. (Kyle Zinth and Melodye Bush, Education Commission of the States, updated December 2010)...

The Progress of Education Reform: End-of-Course Exams PDF - In recent years, criticism of high school graduates’ lack of readiness for college and work has led a number of states to raise high school graduation requirements — particularly in terms of the number and rigor of courses students must pass. This issue of The Progress of Education Reform addresses end-of-course assessments at the high school level. (Jennifer Dounay Zinth, Education Commission of the States, April 2010)...

State Approaches to Improving High School Outcomes: A National Perspective - On October 6, ECS Senior Policy Analyst Jennifer Dounay Zinth presented to Oklahoma's Legislative Task Force on Achieving Classroom Excellence, created by 2009 S.B. 1168. Dounay Zinth's presentation raises the need for states to focus greater policy attention on the middle grades, and provides information about national trends in high school assessments, including: end-of-course and exit exams, substitute assessments for students who do not pass exit exams and administration of the ACT to all 11th graders.(Jennifer Dounay Zinth, Education Commission of the States, October 2009)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Assessment--Performance Based/Portfolio - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

2015 ISTEP+ Review: Findings and Recommendations on Testing Time - Only days before testing was to begin in Indiana, two consultants were asked for ways to shorten testing times. For the short term, they recommended dropping social studies, identifying which math and ELA items best align to Indiana standards, releasing publicly the information that lengthy testing times are a 2015 event and 2016 would be better. Long-term solutions also are recommended. (Edward Roeber and William Auty, Indiana Department of Administration, February 2015)...

Assessment Investigation - In late 2014 and early 2015, Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart investigated the state of standardized assessments in districts. Among resulting recommendations are that the grade 11 assessment for English language arts be suspended. Also that the state postsecondary readiness test be made optional, legislation be enacted to eliminate progress monitoring requirements, and where there is a statewide, standardized end-of-course exam, local final exams should be eliminated. (Florida Department of Education, February 2015)...

The Colorado Standards and Assessments Task Force (HB14-1202): Report of Findings and Recommendations - Charged with studying the implications of Colorado's assessment system, a task force agreed that while assessments provide valuable data for holding schools and districts accountable, state and local assessments create too many demands on time, logistics and finances. Where possible, changes must be made to the type, frequency and use of assessments. The task force recognized the state's ability to change the system was restricted by federal requirements. (Colorado Standards and Assessments Task Force, January 2015) ...

Ohio: Testing Report and Recommendations - Ohio students, who now average 19.8 hours a year taking tests, plus an additional 15 hours practicing for tests, may see a reduction, according to a report by Richard Ross, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction. He recommends limiting test and test practice, eliminating student learning objectives in preK-3 teacher evaluations, eliminating the fall third-grade reading test, and eliminating the requirement that students in grades 1-3 get math and writing tests. (Ohio Department of Education, January 2015)...

Iowa Assessment Task Force Report - A report of the Iowa Assessment Task Force recommends Smarter Balanced Assessments as the statewide assessment of student progress on core indicators of mathematics and reading. The Task Force also recommends reconvening when new science standards are available, and that a work group be created to study technology readiness. (Iowa Department of Education, December 2014) ...

Study Commission on the Use of Student Assessments in New Jersey Interim Report - New Jersey's study commission on student assessments recommends in its interim report that each district review the tests and quizzes being given in classrooms to develop a coordinated structure and schedule. Parents should be engaged and notified of tests their children will take. The state should lead efforts to review state- and federal-required tests such as PARCC and the National Assessment of Educational Progress to ensure they are coordinated with other tests. (State of New Jersey, December 2014)...

Using Assessment Data to Guide Math Course Placement of California Middle School Students - Taking some of the guesswork out of identifying which 8th graders would succeed in Algebra I, researchers found the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project's Grade 7 test is a good predictor. It has a 77 percent success rate and results are available immediately whereas the Grade 7 California Standards Test results aren't available until the next school year. (Chun-Wei Huang, Jason Snipes and Neal Finkelstein, REL West, September 2014)...

Strength in Numbers: State Spending on K-12 Assessment Systems - This report provides the most current, comprehensive evidence on state-level costs of assessment systems, based on new data gathered from state contracts with testing vendors. The author estimates that states nationwide spend upwards of roughly $1.7 billion, which is only one-quarter of one percent of annual K-12 education spending.(Brookings Institution, November 2012)...

State Pre-K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status - This report was created to serve as a resource for educators who wish to incorporate assessments into their programs for young children. It summarizes the challenges and current state approaches to assessing the learning outcomes of children enrolled in Pre-K. (Educational Testing Service, 2012)...


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