Reform at a Crossroads: A Call for Balanced Systems of Assessment and Accountability
Written by a broad number of state and national experts in accountability, standards, and assessment, this publication addresses the following questions.
How do we create assessment and accountability systems that reflect what we really want students to know and be able to do, and that incorporate the latest research about teaching and learning?
How can we rethink the core standards in terms of how they contribute to students’ abilities to be successful?
What can we learn from high-performing nations about the design of coherent assessment systems?
How should we redesign our assessment systems and what are the implications of these changes for each level of the system (state, district, school, and classroom)?
What are the implications of these new assessments for helping teachers develop highly effective instructional practices (which involve calibration and differentiation of teaching in response to the level of individual students’ learning)?
What are the implications for teacher and administrator development programs in higher education?
What are the accountability issues that must be addressed as the purposes and expectations for Pre-K-16 systems evolve?
This resource tackles many of the most pressing issues in educational accountability, providing an effective summary to date about what hasn’t worked well in accountability as well as a reasonable framework toward what might work better. Many of the authors’ recommendations were eventually incorporated into the Common Core State Standards as well as the consortium-developed assessments to measure them. In my opinion, one of the key points in this publication is that even the best standards and assessments cannot do it all, especially if they are not comparable between states and if ample attention is not paid to instructional quality and using assessment data to improve learning. The article is strengthened by the national and state expertise of its contributors, communicated with a pleasing design and relatively easy-to-understand writing. Utility has already been high and should continue to be so.