| Corrected: April 1, 2016
Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • CommentsComments

State Testing: An Interactive Breakdown of 2015-16 Plans

Facebook Twitter Addthis

The 2015-16 school year brings yet another wave of change to states' testing plans, as they try to respond to pressure to cut back on testing time, and still help students access college opportunity. To do that, many states have chosen to require the SAT or ACT of all students, or use it as their high school accountability test. Some have also dropped the federally funded consortium tests, PARCC and Smarter Balanced, in favor of the SAT or ACT to save testing time.

The chart below shows the results of Education Week's national survey of states' assessment programs in math and English/language arts for 2015-16.


An Overview of States' 2015-16 Testing Plans


1. What tests are states requiring in 2015-16?
see all
What tests are states using for federal accountability?
see all

2. Which states are using PARCC or Smarter Balanced?
see all 21
Which states are using PARCC or Smarter Balanced only in grades 3-9?
see all 6

3. Which states are using non-consortium tests?
see all 27
Are any states mixing PARCC and Smarter Balanced with their own items, or letting districts choose what test to give?
see all 3

4. Which states require students to take the SAT or ACT?
see all 21
Which states use SAT or ACT for federal accountability?
see all 12
Which states require students to choose between the SAT, ACT, or a work skills or college placement test?
see all 3


All States Tests Required in 2015-16 Tests Used for Federal Accountability States Using PARCC or Smarter Balanced States Using PARCC or Smarter Balanced Only in Grades 3-9 States Using Non-Consortium Tests States Using Hybrid Approach or Letting Districts Choose States Requiring the SAT or ACT States Requiring the SAT or ACT for Federal Accountability States Requiring Students to Choose Between the SAT, ACT, or Another Test

all states


State 3-8 Test High School Test Exit Exam? Notes
Alabama ACT Aspire ACT Aspire, ACT, WorkKeys none  
Alaska Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) AMP; ACT, SAT, or WorkKeys none AMP in grades 3-10. Choice of ACT, SAT or WorkKeys in 11.
Arizona AZMerit AZMerit none  
Arkansas ACT Aspire ACT Aspire none  
California Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC none  
Colorado Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) PARCC, PSAT, ACT none PARCC in grades 3-9.
Connecticut Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SAT none  
Delaware Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) PSAT, SAT none  
District of Columbia Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) PARCC none  
Florida Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) FSA, Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) FSA or NGSSS Students must pass FSA or NGSSS to graduate, depending on cohort year.
Georgia Georgia Milestones Georgia Milestones none  
Hawaii Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC, ACT none For high school accountability, SBAC shows achievement, ACT shows college readiness.
Idaho Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC; ACT, SAT, ACT Compass none SBAC in grades 3-8 and 10. Choice of ACT, SAT or ACT Compass in 11.
Illinois Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) PARCC, SAT none  
Indiana Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus (ISTEP+) ISTEP+, end-of-course tests End-of-course tests Students must pass end-of-course tests to graduate.
Iowa Iowa Assessments Iowa Assessments none  
Kansas Kansas State Assessment (KSA) KSA none  
Kentucky Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) QualityCore, ACT none  
Louisiana MIX: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) End-of-course tests, ACT, ACT Plan End-of-course tests MIX: LEAP is a mix of PARCC and state-designed items. Students must pass end-of-course tests to graduate.
Maine Maine Educational Assessments (MEA) SAT none  
Maryland Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) PARCC none  
Massachusetts CHOICE: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) MCAS MCAS CHOICE: Districts that gave MCAS in 2015 can choose MCAS or PARCC in 2016. Districts that gave PARCC in 2015 must do so in 2016.
Michigan MIX: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) Michigan Merit Exam (includes SAT, WorkKeys); PSAT none MIX: M-STEP in grades 3-8 is a mix of SBAC and Michigan-designed items.
Minnesota Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) MCA none  
Mississippi Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP) MAP, ACT MAP or previous state tests For federal accountability, MAP shows achievement, ACT shows college readiness. Students must pass the MAP or state's previous subject-area tests, depending on class cohort.
Missouri Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) MAP end-of-course tests, ACT none  
Montana Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) ACT none  
Nebraska Nebraska State Accountablity Tests (NeSA) NeSA none  
Nevada Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) End-of-course tests, ACT End-of-course tests  
New Hampshire Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) PACE, SAT none In eight districts, students take SBAC once each in elementary, middle, and high school, and PACE assessments in all other grades.
New Jersey Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) PARCC PARCC or other exams To graduate, students must produce threshold scores on a test of their choice: PARCC, ACT, ACT Aspire, PSAT, SAT, Accuplacer, or ASVAB-AFQT, or demonstrate mastery by portfolio.
New Mexico Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) PARCC PARCC Students must score level 3 on PARCC to graduate.
New York New York State English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests Regents Exams Regents Exams  
North Carolina North Carolina end-of-grade tests North Carolina end-of-course tests, ACT PLAN, ACT, WorkKeys none  
North Dakota Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC; ACT or WorkKeys none Choice of ACT or WorkKeys in grade 11.
Ohio Ohio State Tests (OST) OST, Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) OGT Students must pass OGT to graduate.
Oklahoma Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test (OCCT) End-of-course tests End-of-course tests  
Oregon Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC none  
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Keystone Exams none  
Rhode Island Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) PARCC none  
South Carolina SCReady End-of-course tests, ACT none  
South Dakota Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC none  
Tennessee TNReady TNReady, ACT Explore, ACT Plan, ACT none For federal accountability, TNReady shows achievement, ACT shows college readiness.
Texas State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) STAAR STAAR end-of-course exams  
Utah Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE) SAGE, ACT none  
Vermont Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC none  
Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) SOL SOL  
Washington Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC, end-of-course tests, High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) SBAC, end-of-course tests, High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) Students must pass SBAC or end-of-course tests in math, and SBAC or HSPE in English/language arts, depending on class cohort.
West Virginia Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) SBAC none  
Wisconsin Wisconsin Forward ACT Aspire, ACT none  
Wyoming Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students (PAWS) ACT Aspire, ACT none  
Source: Catherine Gewertz | Design & Visualization: Sumi Bannerjee
Correction: An earlier version of this chart contained incomplete testing information for New Jersey. This updated chart shows complete information.

Vol. 35, Issue 25, Pages 10-11

Published in Print: March 23, 2016, as National Testing Landscape, 2015-16
Related Stories
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.