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States Take Different Assessment Paths To Insure Student Success

Bob Nilsson Published 29 Jul 2016

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”.

 

State

Name of Test

Testing Vendor

State Testing
Info Pages

Practice Exams

Alabama

ACT Aspire

Pearson

info page

practice test

Alaska

Alaska Measures of Progress

CETE

Info Page

Practice Test

Arizona

AzMERIT

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Arkansas

ACT Aspire

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

California

CASPP

ETS

Info Page

Practice Test

Colorado

CMAS

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

Connecticut

Connecticut Smarter
Balanced Assessment, Connecticut SAT day

AIR/College Board

Info Page

Practice Test

Delaware

Smarter ELA & Math, Delaware SAT day

AIR/College Board

Info Page

Practice Test

Florida

FSAs

Air

Info Page

Practice Test

Georgia

GMAS

DRC

Info Page

Practice Test

Hawaii

HSA

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Idaho

ISAT

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Illinois

Illinois Learning Stds. 3-8 PARCC; Grade 11 SAT

Pearson/College Board

Info Page

Practice Test

Indiana

ISTEP

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

Iowa

ITP Iowa Testing Programs

Info Page

Practice Test

Kansas

KITE

CETE

Info Page

Practice Test

Kentucky

K-Prep

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

Louisiana

LEAP

DRC

Info Page

Practice Test

Maine

MeCAS, SAT day

Measured Progress/College Board

Info Page

Practice Test

Maryland

MSA

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

Massachusetts

MCAS

MCAS out for bid (March 2016)

Info Page

Practice Test

Michigan

M-Step

Measured Progress/DRC

Info Page

Practice Test

Minnesota

MCAs

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

Mississippi

MAP, ACT

Questar

Info Page

Practice Test

Missouri

MAP

Questar

Info Page

Practice Test

Montana

MontCAS

Measured Progress

Info Page

Practice Test

Nebraska

NeSA

DRC

Info Page

Practice Test

Nevada

CCR/ACT

DRC

Info Page

Practice Test

New Hampshire

Smarter Balanced 3-8, Grade 11 SAT

AIR/College Board

Info Page

Practice Test

New Jersey

PARCC

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

New Mexico

PARCC

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

New York

NYSTP

Questar

Info Page

Practice Test

North Carolina

NC Test

Info Page

Practice Test

North Dakota

NDSA

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Ohio

OAA

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Oklahoma

OCCT

Measured Progress

Info Page

Practice Test

Oregon

OAKS

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Pennsylvania

PSSA

DRC

Info Page

Sample Questions

Rhode Island

PARCC

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

South Carolina

SC Ready

DRC

Info Page

Sample Questions

South Dakota

Smarter Balanced

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Tennessee

TCAP

Questar

Info Page

Practice Test

Texas

STAAR

ETS

Info Page

Practice Test

Utah

SAGE

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Vermont

VCA

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Virginia

VMAST

Pearson

Info Page

Practice Test

Washington

WCAP

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

West Virginia

WVGSA

AIR

Info Page

Practice Test

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Forward Exam

DRC

Info Page

Practice Test

Wyoming

PAWS

ETS

Info Page

Practice Test

 

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

 

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