Delaware’s standards are strong and it has a high-quality assessment system in grades 3-8 through the Smarter Balanced consortium.
At the high school level, Delaware is using the SAT as its accountability assessment. While the SAT is familiar to students and families, and it is recognized at colleges all across the country, we don’t yet know whether the SAT is fully aligned to Delaware’s state academic standards. It is also unclear if there are sufficient accommodations in place for English learners and students with disabilities.
Similarly, Delaware could strengthen its plan by providing the steps it will take to ensure that the state does not exceed the 1 percent cap on participation in the alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
Delaware also deserves credit for including its assessments of science and social studies in its accountability system.
That decision will help lessen concerns about curriculum narrowing and will force schools to pay attention to student performance beyond reading and math.