For Meisels (1993), one of the shortcomings of assessment dominated by standardized tests is its effect on teachers and their role: the tests erode teachers' judgment and decision making about how best to help the children they teach.
Newer approaches to assessment stress the central role of the teacher as the one best positioned to know the day-to-day performance and progress of the child and the most in need of that information to carry out his or her instructional responsibilities.
"Assessment provides teachers with useful information to successfully fulfill their responsibilities: to support children's learning and development, to plan for individuals and groups, and to communicate with parents." (National Association for the Education of Young Children & National Association of Early Child Specialists in State Departments of Education 1990, p. 14)
"The teacher is the primary assessor in the early childhood program, as the individual who is closest to the child, most responsible for the quality of the program, best positioned to coordinate the needs of individual children with the program goals and objectives, and most likely to have the information that parents and other interested persons need." (Hills, 1992, p. 45)
Hills (1992) notes that "developmentally appropriate assessment practices empower teachers because: