More of an observation than any actual analysis.
In a document published in April 2014 (Assessment Transitions Communication), the state announced that it had planned to start publishing interim assessments*. In the same document, the state published the conclusion that the Smarter Balanced assessment was really the only way forward. Since then, the legislature (not the MDE and not the Bureau of Assessments) has decided not to fund the Smarter Balanced assessment, at least not until they go through a bidding process. I wonder if the interim assessments are going to go forward, because that really would have been useful.
*Interim assessments are defined as tests that students can take throughout the school year to measure their progress. Not, as the name suggested to me, something they're doing until something better comes up. Although they're doing that, too.