The OPI Assessment Unit supports teaching and learning in Montana’s accredited schools through the Montana Comprehensive Assessment System (MontCAS), which includes a suite of required state assessments aligned to Montana’s academic content standards. Administering the annual state standardized assessments is required under federal and state law. The purpose of Montana’s state end-of-year summative is to provide valid, reliable, consistent, and relevant measures of student academic achievement for the varied uses required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015.
- State testing is intended to measure attainment of student proficiency and progress on state content standards over time and help Montana monitor and address these educational needs.
- Accountability is intended to help the public understand individual school performances on these achievement indicators and to measure inequities across schools, so all students have equitable opportunities to access high-quality education.
- Reporting is intended to provide timely and transparent information to the public and families on these achievement indicators and to support education information processes at the local and state levels.
All Montana public and non-public accredited schools are required to test all students in the following content areas of reading/English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and the English language proficiency of identified English Learners (ELs).