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States' Assessment Programs

A frequently asked question of:
The Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation [ERIC/AE]
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College Park  MD  20742
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E-mail:		askae#064;ericae.net
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Example queries:

How can I ascertain what standardized tests are being used by which states for their testing programs? What about criterion-referenced tests that have been developed for individual state curricula?

What states have implemented large-scale performance based assessments?

Are test scores available for individual cities or school districts? If so, then how may I procure them?

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Most states have implemented statewide testing programs for K-12 student achievement (48, according to the most recent survey by Education Week) as the primary means of accountability to the public.

State testing programs vary in terms of grades required to participate in the test administration, content, and format of the tests. Some states use well-known standardized tests that are purchased directly from test publishers; some state education agencies develop their tests internally in order to match the curriculum, whereas others may contract with outside vendors to do so.

In addition to state testing programs, Congress authorized the U.S. Department of Education to provide states with the option to collect comparable data based upon the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). This program, launched in 1990, is sometimes referred to as "state NAEP", and comprises another form of state-level testing program. Participating states are indicated at the NAEP WWW site, cited below.

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Indicated here are the few comprehensive, authoritative surveys of which we are aware that cover state assessment programs . They are:

State of the States: Quality Counts '99

Education Week offers the following description of its current issue of its annual series: Quality Counts '99 details the findings of an exhaustive, 50-state survey of state policies on accountability. Five indicator tables track states' programs and progress for: 1) Student Achievement 2) Standards, Assessment & Accountability 3) Teacher Quality 4) School Climate & 5) Resources.

For alternate access to this report, contact the publisher:

Editorial Projects in Education, Inc.
Education Week on the Web
Suite 100
6935 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD 20814-5233
Telephone: (800) 346-1834, (301) 280-3100
E-mail: webster#064;epe.org
WWW: http://www.edweek.org/

Testing Our Children: A Report Card on State Assessment Systems - 1997

FairTest, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, developed a five-point scoring guide by which it rates state testing programs in a range from needing "a complete overhaul" to being "a model system". FairTest employed Principles and Indicators for Student Assessment Systems, a 1995 publication by the National Forum on Assessment, as the benchmark for its survey and report. See this report's Introduction for the composite State Data Table; otherwise, summary and full-text reports are available for each state individually.

For alternate access to this report, contact the publisher:

FairTest - National Center for Fair & Open Testing
342 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139
Telephone: (617) 864-4810
Fax: (617) 497-2224
E-mail: Info#064;fairtest.org
WWW: http://www.fairtest.org/

Trends in Statewide Student Assessment Programs - Fall 1996

The Council of Chief State School Officers and the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory conduct an annual survey to maintain their State Student Assessment Programs Database, on which this trend analysis report is based.

For alternate access to this report, contact the publisher:

Council of Chief State School Officers
One Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 2001-1431
Telephone: (202) 336-7006
E-mail: pubs#064;ccsso.org
WWW: http://www.ccsso.org/

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National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Compendia:
Education Statistics at a Glance

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the authoritative federal agency for the collection and reporting of education-related statistics. From this gateway to NCES publications, known also as Encyclopedia of Education Publications, our patrons' frequently-asked questions often can be addressed by the Achievement, tests entries of the Subject Area Search of the Encyclopedia.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

NAEP is described by its governing board as,"'The Nation's Report Card,' ...the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various academic subjects." From this site, access results by academic subjects, for which the reports typically indicate state-by-state results for selected sub-groups.

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Frequently, it is necessary for our clearinghouse to instruct patrons to contact state education agencies directly for the availability of testing program results for within-state jurisdictions, as well as for up-to-the minute information that may not be reflected in the surveys cited above. For contact information for state education agencies, use the following index:

State Education Agencies
[U.S. Department of Education list - includes both States & Territories]

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Standards by State - from Developing Educational Standards, Charles Hill, Putnam Valley Central Schools (NY)

This is a very well organized index to Internet-accessible materials pertaining to K-12 evaluation standards and curriculum frameworks, especially those germane to Goals 2000. The link above links to a section of an organizational scheme that provides access to: general resources, e.g., federally sponsored projects and centers and professional organizations which conduct research on standards; school subjects to which the standards documentation applies; and, state listings for information about each state's efforts.

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Dynamic Search of the ERIC Database for State Testing Programs

The above search option will provide citations that will demonstrate broadly how the topic is represented in ERIC. Patrons are advised to alter the search strategy by including the names of individual states and/or state testing programs.

Dynamic Search of the ERIC Database for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) & the States

The search options above employ the electronic Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors as the search interface for the ERIC documents database. If you would like to ensure a current bibliography of ERIC documents for any of the given sub-topics, then we highly recommend that you pursue this option. Also, once you have selected a search option, you may edit the given strategy to introduce concepts into the search to accommodate your specific needs; or, you can build an entirely new search strategy in the ERIC Search Wizard.

Instructions for ERIC Documents Access

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Publication Notes:
Created: November 9, 1999
Last Revised: November 18, 1999

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