As schools reopen this fall, educators will need to get a handle on exactly where students are in their learning and development in order to guide instruction, target interventions, and allocate resources. Using tests to support the nation’s students and teachers and to inform policymaking in the wake of the coronavirus crisis is one of the most significant challenges facing the education sector in the coming months. How quickly should schools begin assessing students’ learning when they return to classrooms? How much testing should they do and for what purposes? What types of tests should they use? Should schools administer surveys or other measures of students’ social-emotional well-being? When should states restart federally mandated assessments? When should they restart accountability systems?
Blueprint for Testing, researched and written by FutureEd Senior Fellow Lynn Olson, outlines how and when states, school districts, and schools should use assessments in this unprecedented period: to gauge student learning, help accelerate students to grade-level performance, and provide systems-level insights into educational recovery.