States collaborate on new national exams

“We really have to have much better tests,” agreed Jack Jennings, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit Center on Education Policy.

Jennings says the federal No Child Left Behind law had the unintended effect of narrowing assessments to focus on accountability instead of driving student learning.

“We’ve lost our way, and this is an attempt to bring everybody back to the original purposes of teaching and assessment,” Jennings said.

Willhoft likes the idea of two paths toward new tests.

“There would be a lot of advantages for the Department of Education to have more than one consortium,” he said, adding that he expects the end result will be more creative and high-quality solutions.


SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium

Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

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