Participation in large-scale state assessment and accountability systems

Patricia J. Almond, Camilla Lehr, Martha L. Thurlow, Rachel F Quenemoen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We are beginning a new century committed to the principles of standardsbased educational reform in the United States. We have established national and state assessment systems developed around high academic standards, and we use these assessment systems to measure student progress toward the standards. The public is accustomed to learning frequently and routinely about the academic achievement of students in schools at the local, state, national, and international levels. Reports on student performance are standard fare in newspapers, on the evening news, and in political campaigns. Across the nation, citizens want information about educational results; they expect public education to be held accountable for all students, and they demand evidence of improvement where needed. This avid attention to the results of schooling accompanies a comprehensive, nationwide push to improve education, the standards-based reform movement. The last two decades of the 20th century have also seen a major change in the demographic makeup of society. Our public schools are serving an increasingly diverse population of students-students with varied cultural backgrounds, of wide-ranging socioeconomic status (SES), and with many more significant disabilities. For this more diversified student body to benefit from school reform efforts, all students must participate in the large-scale assessment programs designed as part of the accountability system in standards-based reform. What does it mean to participate in a large-scale assessment? In this chapter, we take a straightforward approach. Participation in large-scale assessment means students take national, state, or district tests; have their tests scored; and have the scores reported as part of the data used to measure student and school performance against standards, hold schools accountable, and identify school improvement strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLarge-Scale Assessment Programs for All Students
Subtitle of host publicationValidity, Technical Adequacy, and Implementation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)1410605116, 9781135653897
ISBN (Print)9780805837094
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


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