The Basics: What You Need to Know About ESSA and Student Assessment

  • Each state education agency (SEA), in consultation with local education agencies (LEAs), is required to develop and implement a set of high-quality student academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science.
  • Not less than 95 percent of all students, or 95 percent of all students in each subgroup, who are enrolled in public schools must be assessed.
  • Alternative assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities must not exceed 1 percent of the total number of students in the state who are assessed in each subject.
  • States must annually measure all English learners’ progress toward English-language proficiency.
  • Click here for a graphic organizer showing when tests are to be administered;

Read our issue of revision focused
on high-quality assessment:

High-Quality College and
Career Ready Assessments

revision screenshot


United States Department of Education

The Brookings Institution

Council of Chief State School Officers

The Education Trust 

Education Week

The Fordham Institute

National Association of State Boards of Education

National Education Association

Teach Plus