Our state is part of a 24 state group that will use the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) tests that are (will be) tied to the Common Core Standards (CCSS). There was a big article about it in our local newspaper. It is a step up from NCLB, but it's still "one size fits all". Schools will still be able to get away with using curricula like Everyday Math.
The claim that:
"Students who will know if they are on track to graduate ready for college and careers"
is more true than for our old NCLB test, but it says little about being ready for STEM careers. You can meet CCSS standards and still have career doors close.
The interesting thing I see is that it's a 24 state group working on a common test. It seems that we are moving towards a national curriculum and test. This should provide better data to compare states and towns. Our state will have to compete with others. The way it is now, our NCLB tests can only be compared with two other states using the same test. However, they have to (once again) restart the collection of longitudinal data.
I haven't seen sample tests, so I might change my mind.