Standards and Assessment News | February 15


Arizona House Committee Votes to Fund Exam Prep

The Arizona House Education Committee voted to set up an online system to prepare high school students for the SAT or ACT. Learn more


Colorado Considering Adopting Customized NGSS

Colorado is revising its Science standards, and a committee has recommended a customized version of NGSS. Learn more ; Learn more here


Idaho House Education Committee Approves Science Draft

The Idaho House Education Committee has approved a draft of new Science Standards that includes climate change but removes other sections related to human impact on the environment. The draft will now move to the Senate Education Committee, then eventually to the full House and Senate. Of the states that removed climate change from their Science standards, Idaho is the only one to remove only human-caused climate change and leave the rest. Learn more ; Learn more here


Illinois Considering Move Away from PARCC for Grades 3-8

In an effort to shorten tests and get results more quickly, Illinois is considering either moving away from PARCC altogether, or making changes to the assessment. The state also wants to introduce computer-adaptive testing. The new assessment would likely include some PARCC questions, along with questions developed by educators in Illinois. Learn more


Some Illinois Districts Move to Standards-Based Grading

Students in some Illinois districts are now receiving standards-based statements instead of letter grades on their report cards. The statements show specifically which skills students need to work on, and may show a better view of student progress than traditional letter grades. Learn more


Bill to Override Assessment Vendor Passes Iowa House Committee

A bill to override the Iowa DOE’s choice of AIR as the state assessment vendor has passed the House Education Committee. The bill would instead make University of Iowa’s Iowa Testing Programs the state vendor. The debate over Iowa state assessments has gone on for several years. Learn more


Iowa House Panel Approves Bible Literacy Course

A panel in the Iowa Legislature has approved a bill that would direct the state DOE to create Bible Literacy standards. In addition to opposition for the course itself, one representative expressed concern about setting precedent by creating standards for an elective course. At this time, the DOE does not create standards for electives. Learn more


Mississippi House Debates ACT Instead of End of Course Exams

Two bills in the Mississippi House would have replaced end of course exams with the ACT. The affected exams were in Algebra I, English II, US History, and Biology I. The bills were dropped without a vote in the House. Concerns with the replacement center on the ACT’s lack of alignment with state standards. Learn more


Ohio Mandates Creation of Computer Science Standards

A new law in Ohio will mandate the creation of Computer Science standards in grades K-12. With the new law, high school students may also take an advanced Computer Science course in place of Algebra II. Learn more


South Carolina Social Studies Draft Removes Key People, Events

The current South Carolina Social Studies standards draft has no mention of key civil rights figures, the Holocaust, and some South Carolina historical events and people. These people and events are included in a supporting document for the standards. The draft is still open for public comment. South Carolina’s new standards focus on skills over content. Learn more


Four States Volunteer for ESSA Innovative Assessment Pilot

Arizona, Hawaii, Louisiana, and New Hampshire have all expressed interest in applying for the US DOE’s Innovative Assessment pilot program. Applications from the states are due in April, and any state could decide to enter (or exit) the pilot between now and the deadline. Learn more


Many States Lack Economics, Personal Finance Courses

Economics classes are only required in half of all states, while only seventeen states require students to complete personal finance courses. Experts have expressed concern that students that do not take financial education courses often have financial problems later in life. Learn more