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This publication explores the relationship between state systemic reform initiatives and state student assessment programs using a database established by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and interviews with state assessment directors in California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, and Vermont. States throughout the country are actively pursuing systemic educational reform. The survey and interviews reveal that states approach the development of new or revised assessments in the following ways: (1) developing totally new assessments to accompany new goals; (2) reconfiguring or supplementing existing assessments; (3) revising traditional assessment instruments and raising standards; and (4) leaving assessment development to local school districts. The first three approaches are highlighted in this discussion. It appears that there is not a single best model for state assessment and that innovation should be supported and encouraged. Assessment and reform efforts should foster the same goals, and teacher involvement is essential. Quick fixes will not be the answer. If states change assessment without changing instructional practices, there is little likelihood of improved student performance. Appendixes contain a glossary and an overview of assessment practices. Two tables present survey information. (Contains 14 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Data Collection, Databases, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Interviews, Models, National Surveys, Performance Based Assessment, School Districts, Standards, State Legislation, State Programs, Student Evaluation, Teacher Participation, Test Construction, Testing Programs

The Council for Educational Development and Research, 2000 L Street, N.W., Suite 601, Washington, DC 20036 ($5).

Autor: Bond, Linda; And Others


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