In an updated version of its 2016 report on a state scan of states’ status on K-2 assessments, ACT reported that states adapted to three changes of implementing K-2 assessments in local districts: (1) changes of teacher evaluations in ESSA; (2) federal funds for assessment audits; and (3) more states updating or passing third grade reading laws. The report finds that thirty-five states offered some type of a statewide assessment in grades K–2. Six states offered both a statewide assessment as well as another type of test. In the majority of the states, the state required that certain assessments were mandatory for all students, and one state required an assessment for select schools. Seven states offered optional assessments in which districts could decide whether or not to administer the assessment, and two states had at least one assessment in development. Eight states also encouraged some form of an assessment, typically through a state literacy plan, but did not make an assessment available to districts. Only six states did not require or explicitly encourage assessments in grades K–2.
The report provides state-by-state information on the type of assessments used, whether it is mandatory, reporting requirements and in what grade level it is being administered. In addition, the report provides recommendations for states regarding K-2 assessment policies.