The PIE Network recently featured a piece by Emily Anne Gullickson, A for Arizona’s Executive Director, on Arizona’s rigorous assessment choice options. Find the full post here. An excerpt from the piece is below.

Arizona is stepping out once again as a pioneer in the education sphere, and it’s making status quo-ers nervous. The Arizona Legislature recently passed legislation allowing individual schools to choose which test they will use to measure student outcomes. The State Board of Education is responsible for approving a “menu of assessments” that schools can opt-in to use in lieu of the state’s current AzMERIT exam.

This approach moves us past one-size-fits-all state testing policies that result in over-testing students.

Innovative ideas aren’t always welcomed with open arms, but they often lead to exceptional outcomes. Here’s why we should embrace Arizona’s first-in-the-nation assessment-choice law.

First, the concept for the menu of assessments came to fruition because of demand in the education marketplace. Teachers and leaders called for these more-rigorous assessment options, and state lawmakers listened!

School principals and teachers wanted the opportunity to choose the test that best aligns with the material taught in their classrooms and that has relevance for students. Many of these leaders were already using other reputable testing vehicles such as ACT and Advanced Placement. Now, high schools can measure student improvement without having to give a second test for college entrance or accelerated graduation.