High School Assessment in a New Era: What Policymakers Need to Know

Thursday, September 8, 2016Printer-friendly version

The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states a new opportunity in how they approach high school assessment. Most significantly, it will allow states to use “nationally-recognized high school academic assessments” such as college entrance exams (ACT or SAT) as their sole high school assessment for accountability purposes, and give states the option to permit individual districts to do so in lieu of the state high school test.

Given these changes, states now face important decisions about which high school assessments to use and for what purposes. In order to approach these decisions in a thoughtful manner and find the best solution for their state, there are several critical issues that policymakers need to understand.

Achieve and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment have partnered to develop this brief to help state policymakers make sense of these issues and identify key action steps to consider as they make decisions about high school assessments.