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Michigan's "Return to Learn" legislation (Public Act 149 sec. 104.9) was signed into law on August 20, 2020. As part of the required COVID-19 plans, districts must identify educational goals expected to be achieved for learners during the 2020-21 academic year. The law states: the Goals must include an assurance that the district shall select a benchmark assessment or benchmark assessments that are aligned to state standards and an assurance that the district shall administer the benchmark assessment or benchmark assessments to all pupils as prescribed under section 104 to determine whether pupils are making meaningful progress toward mastery of these standards. 

The assessment(s) must be administered to all pupils in grades K-8 within the first nine weeks of school and again before the end of the school year to measure proficiency in reading and mathematics. MDE will make available one of the benchmark assessments by a provider named at no cost to districts.



Benchmark Resources


Legislative Actions

  • Public Act 149 Benchmark Assessment Requirements
  • Public Act PA48 Benchmark Assessment Requirements


MDE Approved Benchmark Assessment Providers 

The Return to Learn law is flexible and provides districts with several benchmark options. Districts options include choosing: 1) benchmark assessment(s) offered by an assessment provider on the MDE-approved provider listbelow, 2) benchmark assessment(s) or tool(s) that provide progress monitoring and enhanced diagnostics in reading and/or progress monitoring in mathematics, 3) local benchmark assessment (s), especially if used in previous years, or 4) any combination of the three prior choices.


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Benchmark Assessments and Assessment Literacy