are expected to demonstrate, criteria by which these performances are evaluated, and reports that inform instruction as well as measure achievement. Assessment results would be reported in language accessible to parents and other stakeholders, helping them to understand what the tests measure and how results labeled as “proficient” or “basic” should be interpreted.

States and districts would have a comprehensive plan for administering the array of assessments they use with students, and the plan would enable teachers to pursue the vision of the standards as well as prepare students to take those assessments that are high stakes. Incentives linked to accountability would encourage standards-based reforms, with policies in place to ensure that schools and teachers have standards-based professional development opportunities, instructional materials, and appropriate resources to enhance their efforts to raise performance levels of their students. Finally, college entrance and placement tests would measure content that is valued by standards created at the national level and contain tasks aligned with those standards.


The Framework questions (see Figure 3–3) can guide the study of possible influences of standards on K-12 assessment practices and policies. Useful questions focused on this channel of influence include:

  • How has the assessment and accountability component of the education system responded to the introduction of nationally developed standards?

  • To what extent have teachers modified their assessment practices in line with the recommendations of the standards?

  • Are teachers using classroom assessment to monitor student progress in relation to the standards and adjust their instruction accordingly?

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