In an interesting turn of events, Alaska has joined the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of the two big federally funded groups of states that are designing tests for the common standards.
The intriguing thing here is that Alaska didn't adopt the standards on which the tests are based. But they have joined the work to develop the tests.
For a quick refresher, since it's been quite a while since we've run our Common Core State Standards adoption map, check out EdWeek maps showing state adoption of the standards and membership in the assessment consortia (also below).
We first heard last year that Alaska was considering joining one of the assessment consortia. Its biggest school district, Anchorage, broke new ground last year when it adopted the common standards.
Alaska has joined SBAC as an advisory state, which means it can be part of the conversation on test design, but it does not have voting power.