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History of assessments in North Carolina

Remember Governor Pat McCrory’s 2015 State of the State Address?  He said, “We will eliminate unneeded testing by next year.”

The State Board of Education Task Force on Summative Assessment is considering changes in testing, including the possible elimination of End of Grade tests in grades 3-8. Instead, those grades could have a series of interim assessments that give teachers the ability to ascertain how well kids are learning and adjust instruction accordingly. 

The plan is still in the concept phase, and any recommendations have to go through the State Board of Education before changes take place. 

Dr. Sam Houston, President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center, and also on the board of EdNC, spoke at the most recent meeting of the task force on Friday. He previously served as executive director of the North Carolina Education Standards and Accountability Commission and chaired the North Carolina State Board of Education’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Testing and Accountability in 2007. 

Noting that “you can’t test yourself into excellence,” Houston gave the task force an overview of recent history on assessments in North Carolina. Below are some of the highlights from his testimony. 

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.