State Assessment Resources

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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Information for Families about Annual State Tests

National PTA compiled the following resources to give parents important information about state assessments. Every state is different, so to find specific information about the test in your state, see your state’s Family Guide to the Annual State Test. You can also read more about National PTA’s Position on Assessments.

About State Assessments

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed in 2015 requires every state to test students annually in reading and math in third through eighth grade and once in high school. State tests are aligned to each state’s standards and show how well students met the expectations of the grade level. They match what students and learn and do every day throughout the school year and help state and district leaders identify which schools require more support from the state.

Results from state tests are also used by schools and districts to make important decisions about how to best meet the needs of students and teachers. Schools and districts can use the data to better understand where students are doing well and where they may need more support. This helps school leaders make more informed decisions about the resources students need to succeed.

National PTA State Assessment Resources

Tips for Supporting Student Success During State Assessments and Parent FAQ
Find answers to frequently asked questions and get practical tips to better understand the test in your state and what it means for your child. 

Parents’ Guide to Student Success
Each guide has useful information on where your child should be developmentally and academically in each grade level.

Guidance on National PTA Assessment Position Statement
This document provides more information on National PTA’s formal position on state assessments.

Additional State Assessment Resources

Grade-Level Family Guides: Published in spring 2020, these guides are designed to help families better support learning at home. They detail what students are expected to know and be able to do at every grade level in reading and math.

Starting Smarter: For students who take the Smarter Balanced test, this site has sample questions, information on understanding your child’s score report, and links to additional resources.

Learning Heroes Readiness Check: Use this free tool to get a gut check on how well your child is meeting grade level expectations in reading and math.

Wide Open School: Free learning activities in every subject designed to support student learning at home.

Great Schools State Test Guide: Select your state and your child’s grade level to get a better understanding of what your child should know in each subject and helpful tips to support learning at home.