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Georgia and North Carolina Latest to Apply for ESSA's Innovative Testing Pilot

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Two states—Georgia and North Carolina—have officially applied for the second round of the Every Student Succeeds Act's Innovative Assessment pilot. Applications were due this week. 

ESSA allows up to seven states to try out new kinds of tests in a handful of districts before taking them statewide. The flexibility comes with a lot of strings, and no new money, so some states have been reluctant to participate even though they are intrigued by performance-based and competency-based tests.

New Hampshire got the ball rolling for this back in 2015, under the previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind Act, when it was permitted to use performance-based exams in a handful of districts. It later became one of two states that got the go-ahead to participate in the pilot in the first round, which closed in April. Louisiana also got accepted to the first round of the pilot. The Pelican State is seeking to combine tests for two related subjects: English and social studies. The tests will include passages from books students have actually been exposed to in class, rather than brand-new material.

Georgia's plan is different. The state has created three different consortia that are working on so-called "formative" assessments, which help give teachers a real time picture of student performance. Eventually, Georgia will come up with a single test that can be used statewide. More on their plan here. North Carolina is also looking to use formative assessments in its approach. Check out their application here. 

Want to learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act? Here's some useful information:


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