CSG South

Just three years ago, almost every state in the nation belonged to a national testing consortium, such as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) whereas, today, barely half continue to participate in these multi-state comparative student assessments. The Southern region, in particular, has seen a shift away from the national testing consortia to state-specified student testing. As state education systems adapt to their new educational standards of college- and career-readiness, state governments continue to modify their approach to assessing student learning toward these standards.

After dismissing PARCC and Smarter Balanced, several states' education systems began, and currently continue, a transition to various alternatives. This SLC Regional Resource provides an overview of the strategies that SLC member states have undertaken for student testing, as of October 1, 2015. Specifically, the analysis examines the current status of K-12 testing requirements implemented by the 15 SLC member states for their general public school populations and the experiences of these states as they seek to improve their student performance measurement systems. Further, the report focuses on the many adjustments and changes to K-12 English language arts and mathematics student assessment systems implemented by Southern states in the post-Common Core educational era, geared toward preparing college- and career-ready students.

CSG Midwest
In response to growing concerns about the standardized tests that students must take, legislative proposals have been introduced this year in a handful of Midwestern states.


CSG Director of Education Policy Pam Goins outlines the top five issues in education policy for 2015, including school readiness, experiential and work-based learning, academic success for at-risk populations, innovative state accountability systems, and advance attainment of degrees, certificates and other high-quality credentials. 

State officials and policymakers have been focused on college- and career-readiness for several years yet challenges still exist to graduate students with the skills and competencies necessary to obtain sustainable employment. 2015 promises to be another busy year concentrated on implementing best practices and enacting innovative policies that prepare America's youngest students for entry into school, create environments for all students including those at-risk, and offer a variety of experiences so students participate in work-based opportunities. In order to ensure a world-class education for all students, leaders will likely address these top 5 issues facing states this year.

Missouri voters will vote on Tuesday on a constitutional amendment requiring school districts to implement new performance evaluations for teachers. Though individual districts would have some freedom in developing evaluation mechanisms, the proposed amendment mandates that a majority of the evaluation must be comprised of quantifiable student growth measures. In other words, Missouri teachers would be evaluated mostly on the performance of their students on end-of-year tests, a practice that has gained national traction among lawmakers and spurred criticism from teacher unions.

Last month, Houston area teachers became the latest group to file a lawsuit over teacher evaluations using controversial value-added models, alleging that the statistical models produce a misrepresentation of teacher quality.

CSG Director of Education Policy Pam Goins outlines the top five issues in education policy for 2014, including high quality early childhood education and funding, college- and career-readiness, K-12 assessment and accountability systems, the growing use of technology and digital learning, and degree attainment and college completion. 

During the 66th annual meeting of CSG West, the Education Committee held a session on pre-k education and rigorous academic standards and assessment systems, focusing on those practices in the western region. The session featured several representatives from national groups, including the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and Achieve, an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization pushing for college- and career-readiness, as well as representatives from various state departments in the west.

Stateline Midwest ~ January 2013

In the most recent international assessment of students from 53 countries and other education jurisdictions, Minnesota and Indiana eighth-graders posted scores above most of their peers.

What was considered ‘proficient’ on standardized tests in Illinois last year might not quite make the grade on this year’s state assessments. The Illinois State Board of Education voted on Thursday to raise the benchmark for proficiency on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The decision is an important step in preparing for more rigorous Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math and preparing for the higher expectations of a new assessment system that is set to debut in 2014-15.