Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Assessment and Accountability. (Editorial)

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Assessment and Accountability. (Editorial)

Article excerpt

Assessment and accountability are not new to educators, but they have been brought to the forefront as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires states to conduct annual mathematics and reading tests in grades 3-8. While these tests are not universally accepted, standardized testing has eliminated many innovative approaches to learning, as teachers teach to the test--knowing that their careers, as well as those of their principals and superintendents, depend on good scores.

Holding instructors accountable is no easy task, whether they are K-12 teachers or college professors. In contrast, teachers in other countries are rarely ever held responsible for student achievement. This is because assessment testing in the United States is recognized as a measure of effective instructional practices. However, negative reactions are voiced due to the following:

* Lack of understanding of needed goals and value of assessment testing;

* Fear of evaluations based solely on student performance in standardized testing;

* Results may be valueless if integrity does not exist and teachers continue to teach to the test; and

* Reaction of others based on less than perfect results.

Regardless, there is an increased emphasis on the need for accountability, and many sources are contributing. For example:

* Schools of education are preparing teachers in better classroom management skills, improved interpersonal relationships, and the value of accountability and assessment.

* Private companies are including assessment tools in course materials. For instance, Scantron Corp. is offering up to 1,000 free assessments per district in reading and math. However, the schools have to pay a $2,000 fee for on-site training. …

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