via Education Daily
December 12, 2011
Education policy analysts in a recent report on high school exit exams questioned what the future of high school assessment policies will look like when a new assessment system tied to the Common Core State Standards is put in place in SY 2014-15.
Several states have expressed plans to replace their current math and English/language arts exit exams with tests developed by two state consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium.
Analysts said uncertainty lies ahead for high school testing policies, as states decide how adoption of uniform assessments might impact current state requirements. “With a state assessment that measures students’ college- and career-readiness, as both the PARCC and SMARTER Balanced assessments intend to do, will there be a need for mandated ACT and SAT testing or for existing college and career readiness assessment policies?,” they wrote. “In other words, can states, or will states, eliminate or consolidate their assessment policies in order to streamline their assessments system tied to the [Common Core]?”
According to State High School Tests: Changes in State Policies and the Impact of the College and Career Readiness Movement, 27 of the 31 states with current or planned exit exams reported participating in one or both of these state consortia to develop common assessments that are aligned to new benchmarks.
At least 16 out of the 27 states plan to replace their current exams with consortia assessments, and at least 16 states — though not necessarily the same ones — also expect the new assessments to be “more rigorous” than their current tests, the paper noted. Delaware was the only state responding that new assessments would be “about the same as” their current assessments, and Arkansas predicted they would be “no less rigorous,” it said.