In analyses of the role of national educational assessment, insufficient attention has been paid to the central place of the classroom. Rather than encouraging a two-way flow of information, today's "standards-based" frameworks tend to direct the flow of accountability from the outside into the classroom.
The authors of this volume emphasize that assessment, as it exists in schools today, consists mainly of the measurements that teachers themselves design, evaluate, and act upon every day. Improving the usefulness of assessment in schools primarily requires assisting and harnessing this flood of assessment information, both as a means of learning within the classroom and as the source of crucial information flowing out of classrooms.
This volume aims to encourage debate and reflection among educational researchers, professionals, and policymakers. Five source chapters describe successful classroom assessment models developed in partnership with teachers, while additional commentaries give a range of perspectives on the issues of classroom assessment, standardized testing, and accountability.