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WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today released an issue brief examining states’ challenges and progress in creating and launching assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Trends in State Implementation of the Common Core State Standards: Making the Shift to Better Tests is the final paper in a series on CCSS implementation.

Because the new standards and tests affect many interconnected policy areas, governors are essential in shaping the policies and structures required to benefit student learning. Governors across the country are meeting these new challenges. They are enacting new policies, issuing executive orders, augmenting budgets and using the bully pulpit to lead their states’ education reforms to improve student learning.

“Education remains a top priority for all governors,” said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. “Governors are working to advance the effort of improving student learning across all states.”

Effective tests are an important part of teaching and learning. The tests currently used in most states are not as rigorous as those aligned to the CCSS. Two consortia of states are crafting sets of assessments that are being field tested during the 2013–14 school year, with wider use anticipated for the 2014–15 school year.

To successfully implement new tests, states must address several issues:

  • Creating and implementing a transition plan to move teachers and students from existing tests to new assessments;
  • Examining the capacity to offer new tests online, which will require adequate bandwidth and sufficient numbers of computers or tablets; and
  • Addressing funding issues related to the new tests.

To learn more about the NGA Center for Best Practices Education Division, please visit http://www.nga.org/cms/center/edu. To view information about the Common Core State Standards, visit www.corestandards.org.