Reflections on Educational Testing: Problems and Opportunities

This article provides guidance to the Carnegie-IAS Commission on Mathematics and Science Education as to possible assessment-related initiatives to improve mathematics and science learning in the United States. The article focuses on (1) classroom assessments and (2) assessments for accountability. The article addresses some major intended and unintended influences of achievement testing and of test-based accountability on student learning, and offers specific near-term and longer-range recommendations.

Content Comments 

This reflective article provides a careful, thoughtful presentation of ideas and historical information on assessment. The article concisely substantiates its points with evidence and offers proposals for improving teaching and learning. The article highlights important aspects of our ‘assessment culture’ and some of the consequences, intended and unintended, of assessment. Historical perspective on performance assessments, what happened to them and why, is particularly relevant to current work on improving the quality of education through the use of assessments.