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As states implement new college and career-ready standards, they will also transition to new assessments designed to better measure if students are on track to college and career readiness. CCSSO will work with educators as they make this transition and use the new assessments to improve teaching and student learning. For almost 40 years, CCSSO has convened the annual National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA), where upwards of 1,000 state assessment professionals and experts come together to examine salient issues in measuring and reporting what students know and can do. CCSSO also leads 14 State Collaboratives on Assessments and Student Standards (SCASS), which bring together leaders from state education agencies who share mutual interests and specific challenges in standards and assessments.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015.  For more information and resources on ESSA, please visit CCSSO's Every Student Succeeds Act resource page. 

National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA)
The National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA) provides a forum for conference attendees to find out what is happening in the world of assessment - what is new, what is changing, and what is working and not working. NCSA is a practitioner's conference and where attendees can network with professionals in the assessment community while learning about the possibilities of assessment and learning.

State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS)
The State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) are groups of State Education Agency (SEA) career service professionals who work together to solve common educational problems. With a focus on assessment development and implementation issues, the SCASS System provides states with tools for professional development, program involvement, and advocacy.

Supporting States Transitioning to New Assessments 
43 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in ELA and mathematics and one state, Minnesota, adopted only the ELA standards. The CCSS are designed to make sure that all students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college and career. States are now focusing on implementation of the standards. As part of successful implementation, states are developing new assessments aligned to the CCSS. These assessments are intended to accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness and provide timely information to inform instruction and provide student support. 

There are six consortia (please go to Learn More About the Assessment Consortia for more information) working to develop next-generation assessments. Two of these consortia, PARCC and Smarter Balanced, are working on comprehensive K-12 assessments. There are also two consortia, NCSC and DLM, developing assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Finally, there are two consortia, ASSETS and ELPA21, developing assessments for English language learners. 

CCSSO Support for New Assessments
While not playing an official role with the consortia, CCSSO is supportive of the work our members are doing to develop and transition to these new assessments. CCSSO has been working with both PARCC and Smarter Balanced on issues of comparability and sustainability of the assessments. CCSSO is also developing resources to support states as they transition to new assessments aligned to college and career ready standards. 

CCSSO's Commitment to High-Quality Assessments
CCSSO has partnered with the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) to evaluate and improve the quality and quantity of student assessments in public schools. CCSSO and CGCS jointly released Commitments on High-Quality Assessments which is a set of principles to guide state leaders and district leaders in making sure every assessment administered is high-quality, coherent, and meaningful to students, parents, and teachers. These commitments build on chiefs' leadership to set forth a vision to guide the quality of assessments students are taking. 

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Advisory Task Forces
CCSSO convenes two task forces to provide input and feedback on issues related to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).  The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) Policy Task Force is charged with providing state input, feedback, and recommendations to NAGB on policy areas, projects related to NAEP, and more recently the future of NAEP assessments in regards to the upcoming implementation of the Common Core assessments. The CCSSO EIMAC Permanent Standing Task Force on Assessment is charged with making evidence-based recommendations to the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) concerning the technical and operational implementation of NAEP.

Related Resources

Examination of Test Construction Materials across Multiple Assessment Programs (May 2015)

CCSSO Assessment Quality Principles (October 2013)

CCSSO Criteria for High-Quality Assessments (March 2014)

Transitioning to new assessments: State spotlights

Learn More About the Assessment Consortia

State Transition to High-Quality College and Career-Ready Assessments 

Using Balanced Assessment Systems to Improve Student Learning and School Capacity: An Introduction