Typically state assessments don't include enough hard questions to challenge those students who may be ahead of their classmates in some subjects, but that could change if states take advantage of new leeway in the proposed compromise bill on ESEA reauthorization. Brandon Wright explains on the Flypaper blog at Fordham Institute that a minor change in language provides states with new flexibility to use adaptive tests that offer a more personalized assessment of each student's abilities:
Picture a fourth grader who is doing math at levels typical of the state’s sixth-grade academic standards. She’ll “top out” on a fourth-grade math test. It won’t be able to report how much she learned that year, nor give her parents and teachers feedback on how she’s really doing, nor give her school credit for moving her ahead. An adaptive test can do that. And that’s what we should be doing. American education has focused in recent decades on ensuring that all children attain a minimum level of academic achievement. That is an absolutely worthy goal, and we’ve made some progress toward it. But kids already above the “proficient” bar deserve attention as well. This new statutory language makes that possible.