ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (February 11, 2016) – The Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) has released its report on the content and quality of next generation high school assessments. HumRRO used an innovative methodology developed by the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment to evaluate the high school English language arts/literacy and mathematics assessment for ACT Aspire, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced). These four programs represent an array of options states might be considering for adoption regarding their future assessments.
The evaluation was based on elements of the Criteria for Procuring and Evaluating High Quality Assessments, which was developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and released in 2014.
The report shows that the PARCC and Smarter Balanced tests in particular are tests that emphasize the most important content and require students to demonstrate the depth of work called for by college and career ready standards. Both tests measure a wide range of real-world skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis.
While all of the assessments have room for improvement, this report tells us that many states are making the difficult but necessary move to designing and developing assessments that help ensure students are prepared to succeed after high school.