Trends and Opportunities in US K-12 Assessment: The New Era of ESSA

Three promising growth areas stand out from the crowded field of experimental offshoots: formative assessments, performance-based assessment and nonacademic measures.


Emerging Strategy recently 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.


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