Means et al. (1993) discuss the importance of using assessment models that are compatible with the goals of the technological innovation:
The potential for high-stakes testing of content to kill off a project was demonstrated at the Belridge School in McKittrick, California. Funded by tax revenues from neighboring oil fields, this small K-8 school district purchased computers for school and home use for every student and teacher in the school. Laser disc players, television production equipment, and large amounts of software were purchased. The project stressed having students collaborate on meaningful tasks that would challenge them to think. Student work included producing their own television news shows, and setting up and administering a computer-based presidential election. Two years later, when scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills for the first year of the technology implementation were released, parents were shocked to see that their students scored no better than before and slightly below the national median. Failing to consider the difference in focus between the technology-based projects and the standardized test and immaturity of the implementation at the time the students were tested, parents picketed the school and elected a new school board with the mandate to find a new 'back to basics' principal. Computers were removed from student desks and pushed to the rear of the classroom or sold (Schulz, 1992).
Thus, it is wise for innovators to confront the assessment issue as early as possible. Although district and state testing policies may be beyond local control, the school or classroom can at least take steps to collect additional assessment data that are more compatible with the goals of their innovation. Unfortunately, we lack good standardized measures of many advanced thinking skills, but a school can at least choose among the more appropriate subtests from standardized test batteries (e.g., reading comprehension as opposed to word-attack skills, math problem solving as opposed to numerical operations) and can supplement these measures with writing samples, portfolios, and other concrete evidence of student achievement." (pp. 87-88)