The transformation of education demands that teachers and administrators
reexamine assessment practices. If a new approach to learning and teaching
is to succeed, a new model assessment also is needed. Paulu (1994) makes
the following recommendations for designing new assessment strategies and
- Assessment programs must be combined with high performance standards
and must encourage and lead learning--not just measure it. Knowledge gained
from assessment must drive improvement and growth--for programs as well
as for individual students.
- Assessment must measure what is valued--not just those skills that
are quick and easy to measure. Therefore, if the new education paradigm
emphasizes principle and process for broad concepts, assessment systems
must measure learning at that level.
- Assessment should be carefully and thoughtfully embedded in instruction.
It should be part of the learning rather than conclude or terminate learning.
- Assessment must be fair and equitable as well as valid and reliable.
To meet these criteria, the assessment must have a clear, precise connection
with the expected learning and give students an opportunity to demonstrate
performance (not just knowledge and skills) and use alternatives
in demonstrating their mastery.
- Teachers must be involved in the design of assessment programs and
the interpretation of the data. In addition, teachers should be responsible
for making adjustments to programs and strategies in order to improve learning.
- The assessment program, all of its underlying principles, its instruments,
and its results should be openly available to all stakeholders.
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