Recommendation 9: Instruction in how students learn and how learning can be assessed should be a major component of teacher preservice and professional development programs. This training should be linked to actual experience in classrooms in assessing and interpreting the development of student competence. To ensure that this occurs, state and national standards for teacher licensure and program accreditation should include specific requirements focused on the proper integration of learning and assessment in teachers’ educational experience.

Recommendation 10: Policy makers are urged to recognize the limitations of current assessments, and to support the development of new systems of multiple assessments that would improve their ability to make decisions about education programs and the allocation of resources. Important decisions about individuals should not be based on a single test score. Policy makers should instead invest in the development of assessment systems that use multiple measures of student performance, particularly when high stakes are attached to the results. Assessments at the classroom and large-scale levels should grow out of a shared knowledge base about the nature of learning. Policy makers should support efforts to achieve such coherence. Policy makers should also promote the development of assessment systems that measure the growth or progress of students and the education system over time and that support multilevel analyses of the influences responsible for such change.

Recommendation 11: The balance of mandates and resources should be shifted from an emphasis on external forms of assessment to an increased emphasis on classroom formative assessment designed to assist learning.

Recommendation 12: Programs for providing information to the public on the role of assessment in improving learning and on contemporary approaches to assessment should be developed in cooperation with the media. Efforts should be made to foster public understanding of the basic principles of appropriate test interpretation and use.

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