Standardized Testing and the Common Core
Student performance on standardized tests is increasingly being used to measure the quality of education provided by teachers and schools. Most states currently have their own assessment systems, but are planning to adopt new assessments being developed to measure student performance against the Common Core State Standards. How much are states spending on their current systems, and how much might they save by collaborating with other states? In the face of shrinking education budgets, how much should states be spending to ensure that tests are fair to students, teachers, and schools?
On November 29, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings released a report, authored by Matthew M. Chingos, describing the assessment systems currently in place in states around the country. The report contains new data on state spending on testing as well as the characteristics of the tests taken by students across the country. After the keynote address delivered by College Board President David Coleman, panelists responded to the report and discussed the important decisions states will face over the next few years as many implement the Common Core standards and transition to new tests.
In their recent book, “The New Localism,” Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak argue that cities and counties will be tested as never before in the coming years. They will need to innovate and reform—to pursue new strategies for growth and finance—in a fiscal environment dominated by rising health-care and pension costs. In these circumstances, the quality of metropolitan governance will matter more than ever.