How Changes to State Assessments May Impact the Efficacy of Your Instructional Materials

State departments of education generally revise state assessments when the standards for the content area have been revised. In such circumstances, districts generally purchase new materials. However, as this blog post discusses, several forces may cause state education leaders to implement widespread changes to state assessments, as recently occurred in Texas. Starting with the spring 2023 administration, the Texas state assessments will be administered online and will include 14 new types of questions, cross-curricular passages, and evidence-based writing. 

When state assessments are revised, you undoubtedly consider the instructional implications of the changes. Do you also consider how the revisions may impact the efficacy of your current materials? For example, many instructional materials contain quizzes and tests comprised predominantly of multiple-choice questions. Those materials reflect the question format in Texas’ current state assessments. However, would they prepare students for the new state assessments? 

If your state has implemented widespread changes to the state assessment, here are four questions to help you evaluate whether your current materials will prepare your students for success on a revised state assessment:  

  • Does the material contain instructional content aligned to the new standards? 
  • Does the material contain a sufficient number of activities and assessment questions for the standards that are eligible for assessment? 
  • Do the material’s activities and assessments represent the types and frequency of questions included in the new state assessments? 
  • Does the material include activities and assessments at the level of rigor specified by the standards?  

If you find gaps in your current materials, check to see if the publisher has made updates or published a new edition of the material. If not, consider revising your district’s curriculum to make up for the materials’ deficits in order to prepare your students for success on the new state assessments. 

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