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CCSSO's Commitment to High-Quality Assessments

In October 2014, CCSSO and the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) committed to evaluate and improve the quality and quantity of student assessments in public schools. CCSSO and CGCS jointly released Commitments on High-Quality Assessments which is a set of principles to guide state leaders and district leaders in making sure every assessment administered is high-quality, coherent, and meaningful to students, parents, and teachers. CCSSO committed to increase the transparency of state assessment systems by publishing an easily accessible list of state assessments, evaluate state's assessment systems for quality and coherence, work with educational stakeholders to eliminate redundant assessments, and partner with school districts to review their benchmark and formative assessments.

These commitments build on chiefs' leadership to set forth a vision to guide the quality of assessments students are taking.  In October of 2013, CCSSO, on behalf of the chiefs, set forth a set of principles to ensure the assessments they select are meeting the high-bar they expect. The principles are a tool for states to hold themselves and their assessments accountable for high quality.

In June 2015, CCSSO released Comprehensive Statewide Assessment Systems: A Framework for the Role of the State Education Agency in Improving Quality and Reducing Burden. This resource is intended to support and guide state leaders as they determine the state's role, evaluate their state assessment systems and move towards a comprehensive high-quality assessment system.  Throughout this resource state efforts towards high-quality assessments are highlighted and key action steps are described in detail.  States reviewing their assessment systems should consider these key actions:

• Define the goal and determine the state role

• Get the facts 

• Involve the community

• Move from data collection to evaluation

• Make recommendations and implement them

• Communicate early and often 

States Efforts toward High-Quality Assessments

States have taken action to increase the transparency of the state assessment system, evaluate the state assessment system for quality and coherence, work with educational stakeholders to eliminate redundant tests, and partner with school districts to review their benchmark and formative assessments. 

The Colorado Standards and Assessments Task Force Report of Findings and Recommendations

Florida Department of Education: Assessment Investigation

Idaho Comprehensive Assessment Program Inventory

Illinois State Board of Education: Student Assessment Inventory for School Districts

Minnesota Testing Reduction Advisory Group

Study Commission on the use of Student Assessments in New Jersey

New Mexico Statewide Assessment Program: Required Assessments

How much testing is taking place in North Carolina schools at grades K-12?

Ohio Department of Education: Testing Report and Recommendations

Additional Resources

Commitments from CCSSO and CGCS on High-Quality Assessments

Chief State School Officers, Urban School Leaders Offer Statements of Support for Commitments on High-Quality Assessments

Achieve's Assessment Inventory for School Districts

The Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation: State of States

Commitment to High-Quality Assessments Aligned to College- and Career-Readiness

Contact:Kirsten Taylor
Contact:Katie Carrollkatie.carroll@ccsso.org202-312-6434