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Press Release

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CCSSO Releases Framework to Ensure High-Quality Assessments

At least 39 states are addressing a need to reduce unnecessary tests
Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2015) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today released a framework that states can use to ensure every student is taking assessments that are necessary, of high quality and provide meaningful information.

The Comprehensive Statewide Assessment Systems: A Framework for the Role of the State Education Agency in Improving Quality and Reducing Burden builds upon principles that CCSSO and the Council of the Great City Schools announced in October 2014 to guide state and district leaders in making sure every assessment administered is high quality, and to reduce unnecessary tests.

Today, at least 39 states are addressing the need to reduce unnecessary tests, according to a CCSSO survey of state assessment officials. Each state context is different, but all state education chiefs want an effective assessment system that gives teachers and parents the information necessary to ensure students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

"As states, our goal is to make sure every test a kid takes provides useful information to improve that child's learning and, ultimately, ensure they are ready not only for the next grade level, but on track for college and careers upon graduation," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO.

"This framework is one more step in CCSSO's effort to support states as they achieve this goal, evaluating tests currently in place and taking steps to reduce unnecessary tests."

The framework released today recommends ways states could approach comprehensive reviews of the assessments they administer. It also shares examples of the work in states around the country.

The framework recommends that states:  

  • Define your goal and determine the state's role: Start by stating a clear purpose for evaluating assessments
  • Get the facts: Gather information to understand the state's testing landscape
  • Involve the Community: Engage stakeholders in a two-way, meaningful conversation
  • Move to decision-making from data-collection: Consider quality, quantity, time and purpose before making decisions
  • Make recommendations: Based on data and feedback, develop clear recommendations
  • Communicate: Be transparent throughout the process and develop ongoing communications for parents and teachers to stay informed

Access a copy of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment Systems: A Framework for the Role of the State Education Agency in Improving Quality and Reducing Burden.

Download a copy of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Council of the Great City Schools jointly released Commitments on High-Quality Assessments



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The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.