Both the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation (Cradler & Cradler, 2002) and the National Educational Technology Plan (U.S. Department of Education, 2004) specify goals for nationwide computer literacy skills. Most states have now either adopted the NETS•S or adapted them to create their own technology standards and support the development of a technology-teaching curriculum. Few, however, have designed a statewide assessment program to demonstrate progress on these national goals.
To provide the kind of accountability data required by NCLB—for technology literacy as well as for all the core academic content areas—individual districts and states are now faced with the challenge of developing or choosing assessments that can be efficiently implemented on a district- or statewide scale. Automated assessments—assessment instruments that are delivered and scored by stand-alone computers, over a network, or through the Internet—offer planners a number of advantages for doing assessments on a large scale.