In 2010, 46 states joined together in two different consortia (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) to create higher-quality, next-generation state summative assessments. Though these new tests have been consistently highly rated, today only 20 states are participating in either consortia. So what has happened to state assessments, where are they headed in the next couple of years and—most importantly for those who see the value of tests that prioritize problem-solving and writing skills—what are the opportunities to continue to help states move forward?
In Whatever Happened to All Those New & Better State Tests? The State of State Assessments, developed with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we look closely at these trends. Using state agency websites, consultations with state assessment directors and interviews with key leaders in the field, we identified cross-cutting themes across states and analyzed the local circumstances in all 50 states and D.C.
We hope this overview will be a valuable resource on the recent evolution of state assessments, where the field is headed and where and when state leaders need additional support. The research shows which states are reconsidering their testing vendors in 2018, which states are expecting changes in governors or chiefs and which states are creatively embedding some PARCC or Smarter Balanced items on their tests to help ensure quality.