(1) By the authority of 20-2-121(12), MCA and ARM 10.55.603, the Board of Public Education adopts rules for state-level assessment in the public schools and those private schools seeking accreditation.
(2) The Board of Public Education (board) recognizes that the primary purpose of assessment is to serve learning. A balanced assessment system including formative, interim, and summative assessments aligned to state content standards, will provide an integrated approach to meeting both classroom learning needs and school and state level information needs. A balanced assessment system is structured to continuously improve teaching and learning and to inform education policy.
(3) The obligation for funding the assessments is the responsibility of the state. This chapter may not be construed to require a school district to provide these assessments if the state does not have a current contract with test vendors for provision of these assessments to Montana school districts.
(4) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall recommend in writing to the board any modifications to the single system of state level assessment as set forth in (2). The board may consider recommended modifications as an information item on an agenda at a board meeting. At that meeting, the board may vote to list the recommendations as an action item on the agenda of a subsequent board meeting. Unless approved by the board, no recommended modifications are effective and no accredited schools may implement the recommended modifications.
(5) When developing a recommendation to the board for adopting statewide assessments the Superintendent of Public Instruction will include implications including alignment to content standards.
(6) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall:
(a) ensure Montana educators participate in the process;
(b) ensure that all statewide test items are field tested before being used to determine proficiency; and
(c) request approval from the board to allow for census field testing before determining proficiencies.