The number of states using either Smarter Balanced or PARCC as state-wide assessments has dwindled from 45 to 20 states and the District of Columbia. That number doesn’t include states that are just using those assessments for younger grades. Take Oregon as an example, the Oregon Department of Education confirmed that they will no longer use Smarter Balanced for high school students, but will continue to use the assessment for 3rd – 8th-grade students.
The department in a released statement said the change “comes in response to feedback received from stakeholders around the state that the statewide high school assessment should provide a direct benefit to students beyond meeting graduation requirements.”
This change reflects a desire to cut back on assessment time. Also, more states are starting to use ACT and SAT as their statewide assessment for 11th graders. Using a college entrance exam provides more motivation for students to do well.
Education Week noted that Smarter Balanced, seeing this trend, wants to develop a college entrance exam.
Smarter Balanced issued a solicitation in February to see if it could partner with a big testing company—presumably ACT or the College Board—on an assessment that could essentially kill two birds with one stone: It could provide information states could use in accountability reports, and also serve as a college-admissions exam.