By Laurie Borkon, Vice President of Government Affairs
As a civil rights law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 includes requirements for state assessment and accountability to ensure every student has access to a good education and is held to high standards.
Key to understanding ESSA is understanding that accountability and assessment go hand-in-hand. In Part I of our ESSA in 5 minutes series, we’re going to talk about ESSA and assessment. In Part II of our series, we’ll connect assessments to the accountability indicators.
Like No Child Left Behind, ESSA requires states to hold schools and districts accountable for student proficiency in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high school. States must also assess science at least once in grades 3–5, 6–9, and 10–12.
In ESSA, states have more options in the type of assessment(s) for accountability including: single summative assessment, interim assessments throughout the year (that must result in a single summative score at the end of the year), and applying for the innovative assessment demonstration authority to try new assessment approaches (open to 7 states). Also new in ESSA, states can allow districts to administer a nationally-recognized high school assessment in place of the state-selected assessment for the 10–12 grade span, pending submission and approval by the state.
Renaissance’s position is that even though Renaissance Star assessments are valid and reliable enough for state assessment purposes, Renaissance will focus on ensuring Star supports teaching and learning. Through our ongoing investment and innovation, Star assessments will continue to be rigorous enough to predict your state assessment, and informative enough to guide your instructional decisions and planning.
Star assessments are rigorous enough to predict your state assessment, and informative enough to guide your instructional decisions and planning.
Over the next several months, states will be developing their new assessment and accountability systems based on the ESSA requirements. No matter how your state’s system is designed, you can count on Star to be a rigorous, predictive, and accurate source of data.
Even with the changes in ESSA, Star assessments remain critical to help you:
• Inform daily teaching with learning progressions and instructional resources
• Monitor progress system-wide
• Predict state test performance
• Track growth to inform teaching and accountability
Want to stay up-to-date on ESSA and other education trends? Subscribe to Renaissance’s blog!
And stay tuned for Part II of our ESSA in 5 minutes series!
Laurie Borkon holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with training as a reading specialist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to Renaissance, she was a staff researcher at UW-Madison and spent several years working at the middle school level.