April 4, 2023

Demystifying Statewide Standardized Assessments

By Michelle Croft | Hailly T.N. Korman | Titilayo Tinubu Ali

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Watch our video Q&A series with Michelle Croft about state standardized assessments here.

Statewide standardized assessments are an annual fact of life for educators and students across the country. These tests are an important tool for measuring what students know and can do: the results help decision-makers and educators better understand students’ strengths and areas of needed support to guide changes in instruction, inform large-scale instructional decisions, and determine how well the education system is serving students across schools, districts, and subgroups.

They’re also a regular source of controversy. But for all the opinions and debates about statewide standardized tests, they remain a mystery for many. Policymakers, educators, families, students, and members of the public are often unaware of how their state’s tests are developed, administered, and reported.

We developed this set of briefs to help demystify state standardized assessments  — from the initial stages of assessment design to the final process of scoring and reporting results. 

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