Oregon has high standards and an aligned assessment.


Oregon has put in place strong college- and career-ready standards based on the Common Core State Standards and is using Smarter Balanced as its statewide assessment system in English language arts and math in grades 3-8 and high school. Additionally, the state is developing a new science assessment aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


Oregon will offer districts a choice of nationally-recognized high school tests.


Oregon must consider how it will accomplish this while staying true to its values around equity, as well as ESSA’s statutory requirements. The state does not describe how it will identify the high school assessment(s) for districts, though the plan does include several key principles to maintain quality (standards alignment, reliability and validity, comparability, accommodations and accessibility).


While this could be helpful in improving participation and investment in the state testing program on the part of high school students and their parents, the state should resolve these technical issues before going down this path.


Lastly, Oregon should strengthen its plan by ensuring that it has a process in place to meet the 1 percent cap on alternate assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.


New Jersey


New Jersey received top marks for strong commitments to college- and career-ready standards and high-quality, aligned assessments in math and English Language Arts, as well as assessments in science, social studies, and early grades (K-2) that will help address concerns about curriculum narrowing.


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