July 29, 2016

States Take Different Assessment Paths To Insure Student Success

Assessment_Map

Online Summative Assessments Provided By Seven Testing Companies

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title 1, Part A
(a)(1) Each State, in consultation with its [local educational agencies] LEAs, must implement a system of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments that includes, at a minimum, academic assessments in mathematics, reading/language arts, and science.
§200.5(a) A State must administer the assessments annually in each of grades 3 through 8; and at least once in grades 9 through 12. [
link to full text]

When the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law it authorized the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (SSAEG) program in the amount of $1.65 billion. Although the final amount is in jeopardy, for states to be eligible, they must comply with ESSA Title 1, Part A as summarized above and clarified in a Fact Sheet. That is, each state must implement annual student assessments.

Where do these standards and assessments come from? The ESSA bill makes clear that they will not come from the federal government. Per SEC. 8526A, “No officer or employee of the Federal Government shall … mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curricula, or program of instruction …  including any requirement, direction, or mandate to adopt the Common Core State Standards.” However, there is nothing preventing states from using the assessments they had developed with the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced), originally funded by the Race to the Top Assessment program and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).

The most recent task has been implementing the standards into on-line tests. The political challenges associated with the Common Core State Standards has fragmented this project, leaving states to choose from seven companies to provide their state-wide testing. The task of implementing the assessments online requires coding a range of questions that include multiple choice, graphical manipulation, and free-form writing; all on a wide variety of student devices. The testing servers must be capable of handling thousands of students simultaneously. Ideally the tests are scored instantly, to provide administrators with realtime data alerting them to any potential cheating or overloaded servers or networks. Not all the companies that set out to deliver online testing were equipped to handle the task – leading to several debacles, notably in Tennessee, Alaska, and Kansas.

Current Snapshot of State Assessment Dance Cards

At this writing, these are the firms providing online assessment platforms to the states: American Institute of Research (AIR), Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), Questar, Pearson, Measured Progress, Educational Testing Services (ETS), and Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) at University of Kansas. AIR and Pearson are the two largest testing providers.

Below is the summary of which vendors have been chosen by each state. In most cases, the states have provided a way to try out sample test questions to get a feel for the online tests and make sure the technology is functioning properly. The links under the “Practice Exams” heading takes you to the actual server, if available, and lets you log in as a guest. For up-to-date information about your state assessments, click the link under “State Testing Info Pages”.

StateName of TestTesting VendorState Testing Info PagesPractice Exams
AlabamaACT AspirePearsonInfo pagePractice Test
AlaskaAlaska Measures of ProgressCETEInfo PagePractice Test
ArizonaAzMERITAIRInfo PagePractice Test
ArkansasACT AspirePearsonInfo PagePractice Test
CaliforniaCASPPETSInfo PagePractice Test
ColoradoCMASPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
ConnecticutConnecticut Smarter Balanced Assessment, Connecticut SAT dayAIR/College BoardInfo PagePractice Test
DelawareSmarter ELA & Math, Delaware SAT dayAIR/College BoardInfo PagePractice Test
FloridaFSAsAirInfo PagePractice Test
GeorgiaGMASDRCInfo PagePractice Test
HawaiiHSAAIRInfo PagePractice Test
IdahoISATAIRInfo PagePractice Test
IllinoisIllinois Learning Stds. 3-8 PARCC; Grade 11 SATPearson/College BoardInfo PagePractice Test
IndianaISTEPPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
IowaITP Iowa Testing ProgramsInfo PagePractice Test
KansasKITECETEInfo PagePractice Test
KentuckyK-PrepPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
LouisianaLEAPDRCInfo PagePractice Test
MaineMeCAS, SAT dayMeasured Progress/College BoardInfo PagePractice Test
MarylandMSAPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
MassachusettsMCASMCAS out for bid (March 2016)Info PagePractice Test
MichiganM-StepMeasured Progress/DRCInfo PagePractice Test
MinnesotaMCAsPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
MississippiMAP, ACTQuestarInfo PagePractice Test
MissouriMAPQuestarInfo PagePractice Test
MontanaMontCASMeasured ProgressInfo PagePractice Test
NebraskaNeSADRCInfo PagePractice Test
NevadaCCR/ACTDRCInfo PagePractice Test
New HampshireSmarter Balanced 3-8, Grade 11 SATAIR/College BoardInfo PagePractice Test
New JerseyPARCCPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
New MexicoPARCCPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
New YorkNYSTPQuestarInfo PagePractice Test
North CarolinaNC TestInfo PagePractice Test
North DakotaNDSAAIRInfo PagePractice Test
OhioOAAAIRInfo PagePractice Test
OklahomaOCCTMeasured ProgressInfo PagePractice Test
OregonOAKSAIRInfo PagePractice Test
PennsylvaniaPSSADRCInfo PageSample Questions
Rhode IslandPARCCPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
South CarolinaSC ReadyDRCInfo PageSample Questions
South DakotaSmarter BalancedAIRInfo PagePractice Test
TennesseeTCAPQuestarInfo PagePractice Test
TexasSTAARETSInfo PagePractice Test
UtahSAGEAIRInfo PagePractice Test
VermontVCAAIRInfo PagePractice Test
VirginiaVMASTPearsonInfo PagePractice Test
WashingtonWCAPAIRInfo PagePractice Test
West VirginiaWVGSAAIRInfo PagePractice Test
WisconsinWisconsin Forward ExamDRCInfo PagePractice Test
WyomingPAWSETSInfo PagePractice Test

This blog was written by Bob Nilsson with research help from Lisa Yeaton.

 

About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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