Trends and Opportunities in US K-12 Assessments


The passage on December 10, 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was the culmination of a long-running movement away from a completely top down, standard-based approach to measuring student performance. ESSA returns more autonomy to state and local education agencies, and is likely to accelerate the pivot away from high stakes summative tests to new measures and assessment methods to be decided upon primarily by states.

This means schools are looking for a different mix of products and services from vendors in the K-12 space, and recent investment has spurred an ever more vibrant and complex market for K-12 decision makers to navigate. The boom in VC funding for education technology startups has lit up the market with innovative curricula and assessment products, pushing both technical and pedagogical boundaries and allowing K-12 stakeholders to rethink possibilities for their institutions and students.

Buzzwords like “personalized learning” abound as new entrants leverage technology to provide new products and services aimed at K-12 institutions and educators. Ongoing diversification of assessment and performance measurement needs will create an increasingly complex market for both K-12 institutions and vendor partners to work in.

Assessments Market Intelligence conducted a study into changing trends in K-12 assessment. We interviewed a variety of stakeholders and thought leaders to gain insight into what schools need to succeed in today’s diverse K-12 curricula and assessment landscapes. After completing our study, three promising growth areas stand out from the crowded field of experimental offshoots: formative assessments, performance-based assessment and nonacademic measures.

Non-traditional assessment techniques are gaining significant traction in a K-12 landscape recently upended by political reforms and advances in technology. The objective of this paper is to cut through the noise and provide clarity on how vendors and other K-12 stakeholders can position themselves in this new era of diversification in K-12 curricula and assessment.

Download our report on Trends and Opportunities in K-12 Assessment: The New Era of ESSA to learn more.

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