- Because the new Every Student Succeeds Act suggests that states and districts combine their interim assessment results into one score for evaluation, critics are saying that results used for the purpose of federal accountability might be unclear.
- Some testing experts say problems might arise from using interim tests for summative results, something they aren’t designed to do.
- Still, the matter of exactly which interim tests will be deemed acceptable by the U.S. Department of Education is as-yet undecided, Education Week reports, noting that “regulations and guidance on the new law haven’t been written yet.”
Summative tests are generally used to assess “all learning,” to see whether students know a subject. That’s what critics are worried about: Interim tests aren’t designed to produce that kind of concrete end product. Last year, NPR reported on summative testing and measurements, saying that “they can be viewed as an asset for a test used by many but also a curse: The easily coached, multiple choice format, while necessary due to user volume, can lead to ambiguity.”
Previously, some teachers have also been skeptical of interim assessments. One survey found that teachers weren’t sure about using interim tests to determine whether data was effective.
And Colorado has already reportedly used interim tests to evaluate student performance.