Publications & Resources

From the Assessment OF Education to the Assessment FOR Education: Policy and Futures

Nov 2014

Eva L. Baker and Edmund W. Gordon

Educational reform in the United States has had a growing dependence on accountability achieved through large-scale assessment. Despite discussion and advocacy for assessment purposes that would assist learning, provide help to teachers’ instructional plans and execution, and give a broader perspective of the depth and breadth of learning, the general focus still remains on accountability, now elaborated with sanctions for schools and personnel. The paper calls for a transformation of assessment purpose and use, from annual, time-controlled accountability assessments to more continuous assessments used in the course of a learners’ acquisition of understanding, motivation for learning, collaboration, and deep application of knowledge in problem solving, communication, and authentic settings. Assessments should emphasize helping students of varying backgrounds and goals as well as their teachers. The role of technology as an assessment design, administration, and reporting toolset is described, in the context of changing knowledge expectations and a global competitive environment.

Baker, E. L., & Gordon, E. W., (2014). From the assessment OF education to the assessment FOR education: Policy and futures. Teachers College Record, 116(11), 1- 24.