According to a new report, many states will soon measure student learning in the “untested grades,” meaning teacher evaluation will use data from students in prekindergarten through third grade. The report explores the risks associated with this and its potential impact on teachers?

The brief, “An Ocean of Unknowns: Risks and Opportunities in Using Student Achievement Data to Evaluate PreK-3rd Grade Teachers,” funded through grants from the Foundation for Child Development and the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, reports that as of 2012, 20 states and Washington, D.C. require evidence of student learning to play a role in evaluating teacher performance. As a result, better information on student learning is in high demand, and no grade level is immune.

Historically, most states have required standardized testing only in grades three through eight. But now those 21, with likely more to follow, must devise comparable ways to measure student learning in the “untested grades,” as well, including preK, kindergarten, and grades one and two. And even with testing in grade three, a lack of baseline data has implications for those teachers, too.

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