Skip to content
Aurora Institute

ESSA’s Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority provides the opportunity to redesign and implement new systems of assessments of and for student learning.


There is a need to rethink the purpose and role of assessment in education systems. ESSA presents states with a historic opportunity to redesign K-12 education around new definitions of student success. One of these opportunities is the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority, allowing states to pilot new assessment systems. Congress can amend the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority to remove barriers under ESSA section 1204 for states to participate and implement new systems of assessments.


  • Congress can lift the cap on the number of states that could apply to participate in the IADA.
  • Congress can include language that allows states planning time prior to starting implementation and to scale up.
  • Congress can make funding available for states to develop and improve on innovative systems of assessments.
  • Education leaders can use the flexibility under ESSA to redesign assessments to consider what is needed to make assessment more meaningful and integrally linked to student learning.
Related COntent


October 19, 2021

Aurora Institute’s Federal Policy Priorities: Charting a New Path for America’s Learners

Fred Jones, Alexis Chambers, Susan Patrick

Issue Brief

November 2, 2017

Redesigning Systems of Assessments for Student-Centered Learning

Dale Frost, Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick


October 4, 2016

Meeting the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Promise: State Policy to Support Personalized Learning

Dale Frost, Maria Worthen, Susan Gentz, Susan Patrick


October 13, 2016

How States Can Transform Systems of Assessments to Support Teachers and Students

Dale Frost, Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick