Trends in Measuring School Performance
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards in reading/language arts and mathematics, which were developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association. These standards are intended to set expectations for students in each grade level that would lead to college and career readiness by the end of high school.
The Obama administration has provided $330 million to two consortia of states to develop new assessments to measure the Common Core State Standards. States were permitted to join more than one consortium, and 45 states and the District of Columbia are currently part of one or both. The new assessments, which are expected to measure students’ progress toward college and career readiness, are expected to be implemented in 2014–15.
The current iteration of ESEA is slated to be revised. While the exact timing of the reauthorization is unknown, the Obama administration has released its “blueprint” for reform, which would, among other changes, require states to base academic standards on college and career readiness, encourage states to include performance on other subjects in accountability ratings, measure school performance on growth as well as proficiency status, provide rewards to high-performing schools, and focus interventions on the lowest-performing schools.