We test students in the United States more than any other nation, and yet American students currently perform well below those of other industrialized countries in math and science, and have more trouble writing, analyzing and defending their views. A fundamental misalignment exists between the nation’s educational goals for its students and the types of assessments used to measure whether these goals are being achieved. A substantial component of national education reform will involve basing standards around 21st century skills and knowledge, providing useful curriculum guidance to support effective teaching, and designing assessment practices that support ongoing learning. Well-designed, cost-effective performance assessments can lead to significant improvements in both education quality and teacher effectiveness. SCOPE’s work in this area aims to improve the alignment between student assessment, standards, and achievement to ensure an equitable education for all students.
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