National Assessment Initiative–
In the United States, education is the responsibility of the states, and the U.S. Department of Education cannot set standards for curriculum content. Consequently, it has been left to professional societies such as ISTE to create and disseminate national standards that can then be used or referenced by individual states to determine student outcomes.
Initiating a nationwide effort in the United States to reach a common set of standards would be a difficult undertaking, not easily fitting the country's decentralized education system. Fortunately, we can look to our international counterparts in nations with more centralized education systems, such as Australia. This chapter describes Australia's National Assessment Initiative. While the initiative is a work in progress as this book goes to press, it has already succeeded as a useful model for nationwide implementation of student performance standards and assessments.