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Rules Proposed for ESSA’s Innovative Assessment Pilot

The Every Student Succeeds Act was supposed to help states move on from the No Child Left Behind Act, in part by offering fewer and better tests. And to help states with the “better” part of that equation, the new law allows them to try out competency based assessments and performance tasks through an Innovative Assessment pilot. The goal is to experiment with new forms of testing on a small scale that can eventually be used statewide. 

So how exactly will that pilot, which is open to up to seven states, work initially? 

The U.S. Department of Education Wednesday sketched some preliminary rules of the road (“draft regulations,” in federal speak) on that subject. They address, among other things, what states need to do to be ready to apply for the pilot, and how states can figure out if these brand-new tests are “comparable” to their state assessments. (Fact sheet on all this here, and more on the specifics below).