How Well Aligned Are State Assessments with State Standards or Common Core/Next Generation Science Standards?

In U.S. public education, states are responsible for most policies for curriculum, instruction, teacher preparation, and assessment of learning. A significant change in the state role has taken place in the past decade, particularly when 45 states decided to adopt the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. Separately, 26 states worked together to develop standards for science education, the Next Generation Science Standards. This paper for prepared by NORC at the University of Chicago for AERA 2018 Division L presents data on current trends in state assessment policies, particularly alignment of assessments to state content standards for mathematics and science.  The information and analysis draw on a new online reporting system developed at NORC at the University of Chicago which was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), (see http://stem-assessment.org).   

NORC's analysis focuses on two research questions:

 1. What assessments of K-12 mathematics and science education are being used in statewide student assessments, and how have the assessments changed with new mathematics and science standards?

2. What indicators can be applied across the states to provide comparable measures of alignment? When applied, what do the indicators show about degree of alignment between assessments and standards across the states?