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Key Update to Assessment HQ Displays State-by-State Results from Annual Assessments Administered during COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 24, 2022, Collaborative for Student Success Director Jim Cowen released the following press release for the update of AssessmentHQ to feature state-by-state assessment data for the 2020-21 school year. 

WASHINGTON (March 24, 2022) – Today, the Collaborative for Student Success announced a key update to the site that will allow viewers to see in one place state assessment data from across the United States that reflects testing during the 2020-2021 school year.

The scores are an important benchmark that, when combined with other tools, will help families and policymakers better understand the impact of disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic so that all students can emerge from the pandemic stronger.

“There is a great need to assess areas of strength and need in our education systems – especially as families, schools and students are coping with learning challenges and loss as a result of the pandemic,” said Jim Cowen, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success. “Assessment data displayed as part of the Assessment HQ update allows schools, educators, and administrators to be honest with students and parents about achievement and what the education needs are for students to be successful and competitive in college, careers, and life. Sadly, an alarming number of students are not performing at a proficient level across the country, and we must do better.”

Primarily because of decisions made with testing during the pandemic, testing participation rates varied greatly across the country. In response, the new Assessment HQ update includes information for each state about how transparent the state has been in reporting its participation rates. This information is notable when interpreting results because as participation rates decrease, challenges with interpreting test results increase.

Data posted on the site was gleaned from publicly available information posted by states – with the vast majority of states reporting scores at some level from the school year. Overall, only about a dozen states provided parents and other stakeholders a complete picture of both student rates in each grade as well as proficiency across student groups. But there were notable exceptions. Washington, D.C., received a waiver from the Education Department so no scores were reported, while officials from states such as New Mexico and Maine said they would not release scores. Other states, such as Maryland and New Jersey, conducted delayed testing in fall 2021 and scores had not yet been made available.

Since 2019, Assessment HQ has been the go-to source for understanding statewide annual academic assessments for grades 3-8. These assessments tell us about mastery of skills and the knowledge that is needed to be successful throughout a student’s academic career.

Assessment HQ highlights state-reported student performance results in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) by student demographics. The site allows users to see which annual assessments are used in states and observe the performance of student groups, like African American and Hispanic students.

While annual assessments can always be improved, they are one of the best tools we have to provide an honest check on states to ensure that the decisions and policies impacting young people are grounded in evidence and real results. They are particularly important for those students who are most vulnerable or who historically have been underserved. Not only do assessments help level the playing field, but they also help ensure that schools are preparing students for college or career.

The site includes original commentary provided by Dale Chu, a former teacher, and educational policy expert who has led work in both the Florida and Indiana Departments of Education.

“Students, parents, teachers, and community members all need and have a right to know where students are academically as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chu said.

About the Collaborative for Student Success

The Collaborative for Student Success is a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to defend high standards, high-quality assessments, and strong systems of accountability to ensure that all kids are prepared for college or career. Through capacity-building efforts with in-state organizations and collaboration with national partners, we promote fact-based public discourse and fight to advance policies that promote best practices and ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

About the Collaborative for Student Success

At our core, we believe leaders at all levels have a role to play in ensuring success for K-12 students. From ensuring schools and teachers are equipped with the best materials to spotlighting the innovative and bold ways federal recovery dollars are being used to drive needed changes, the Collaborative for Student Success aims to inform and amplify policies making a difference for students and families.

To recover from the most disruptive event in the history of American public schools, states and districts are leveraging unprecedented resources to make sure classrooms are safe for learning, providing students and teachers with the high-quality instructional materials they deserve, and are rethinking how best to measure learning so supports are targeted where they’re needed most. 

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