Standards and Assessment News | July 1


Alabama Begins Development of New State Assessment

In the wake of a U.S. DOE concern, Alabama has voted to stop the ACT Aspire assessment and use Scantron for assessments until a new test is developed. The BOE sent a letter to the US DOE requesting a waiver from testing to give the state time to develop a new assessment. Learn more ; More here ; More here too


Alaska Board Considers Reducing Testing

The Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development is considering a regulation that would reduce the number of times students take statewide assessments. The proposal would require high school students to take ELA and Math assessments once instead of twice. The move is to fill a need for more flexibility in high school testing. The regulation is open for public comment until July 12, with a vote on July 14. The change could be effective as early as 2018. Learn more


Colorado Leaves PARCC, Hires Pearson

Colorado has relinquished its membership in PARCC, and has hired Pearson to help Colorado educators develop new ELA and Math assessments. They will have some state-developed parts of the test by the 2018 testing session. One goal of the change is to shorten testing time and the time it takes to provide results. Learn more ; More here


Iowa Issues RFP for State Assessments

The Iowa DOE is requesting proposals from vendors to provide state assessments in ELA, Math, and Science beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Proposals will be accepted through early August, with a decision announced in September. Learn more


Mississippi Releases Pearson, But Students Won’t Pay for Mishaps

Mississippi has released Pearson as its state assessment vendor after the company used the wrong table to score the state’s U.S. History exams. Although students graduated who should not have, the state will not relinquish diplomas due to the vendor’s error. The state has secured a one-year emergency contract with Questar to administer some assessments in the 2017-2018 school year. Learn more ; More here too


Ohio Senate Considers Alternate Pathways to Graduation

The Ohio Senate Finance Committee altered its new state budget bill to include exemptions from state test score requirements, which were supposed to begin with the current senior class. The new pathways to graduation could include meeting two alternate requirements, plus GPA and attendance requirements. The bill would need to pass the Senate, be accepted by the House, and then be sent to the governor for his signature. Learn more


Pennsylvania Considers Replacing Keystone Exams with SAT

Education committees in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate approved bills that would, in part, replace the Keystone end-of-course exams with the SAT. The bills now move on to the full chambers for consideration. If passed, the changes would be effective in the 2018-2019 school year. Learn more


Religious Studies on the Rise in Public Schools

The National Council on the Social Studies recently published guidelines on how to study religion from an academic, non-devotional approach. There has been a recent increase in world religion classes in public schools, and these new guidelines will help in developing curriculum for such classes. Learn more ; More here