Strength in Numbers: State Spending on K-12 Assessment Systems

The report identifies state collaboration on assessments as a clear strategy for achieving cost savings without compromising test quality. For example, a state with 100,000 students that joins a consortium of states containing one million students is predicted to save 37 percent, or $1.4 million per year; a state of 500,000 students saves an estimated 25 percent, or $3.9 million, by joining the same consortium. Collaborating to form assessment consortia is the strategy being pursued by nearly all of the states that have adopted the Common Core standards.

But it is not yet clear how these common assessments will be sustained after federal funding for their development ends in 2014, months before the tests are fully implemented.