Recently, the Obama administration laid out its new plan aimed at reducing the number of tests students in grades k-12 take in the classroom.
The education law passed last December still requires districts and schools to test students annually in reading and math in grades three to eight, and once in high school. It gives states greater flexibility in deciding what tests they could use to see how students are performing. For example, districts could use a nationally recognized high school assessment, the SAT or ACT, instead of the state tests in high school.
The new law intends to return education policies back to individual states was actually signed by President Obama over a year ago. The framework sets in place less time for students to spend on standardized tests.
Currently, 2.3 percent of classroom time is spent taking tests, Obama aims to get that number to 2 percent.
A pilot test that will allow up to seven states to design their own assessments is also part of the new law, and the final regulations set forth a framework for how states may implement those new tests. Districts could use the innovative assessment in all grades and subjects or a subset of them.
The pilot states would eventually administer the tests statewide but could experiment in a smaller number of districts at first. States would have five years to put the new testing system in place but could request a two year extension. The pilot states have not yet been selected. That will fall to the incoming Trump administration.