Alyson Klein – April 2016
Education Week describes the testing rules negotiated by a committee of educators, advocates and experts.
- States must test students in grades 3-8 in English language arts and math annually and once in high school;
- States must disaggregate the results to show the performance of the following subgroups of students: English language learners, students with disabilities, low-income students, those in foster care, homeless youths, and military-connected children. Results must also be broken down for various ethnicities.
- All students state-wide must take the same test by grade, unless the state is piloting a new assessment.
- States must accommodate English-language learners and special education students as needed.
- Tests can be in formats other than simply multiple choice. Computer-Adaptive tests (which adjust the level of difficulty based on a student’s responses) are permissible.
- Districts can offer nationally recognized tests, including the SAT and ACT, to high school students. These tests must be implemented district-wide and cannot be phased-in.
- States can administer alternate assessments to students with the most severe cognitive disabilities, but it should not exceed 1% of students. States may ask for a waiver to exceed this cap.