limiting future educational choices. In this later case, errors may lead to an enormous human losses.
The main point of these observations is that useful and instruction-relevant learning progress maps must be designed to reflect information from a variety of sources, including teachers' classroom observations, students' project portfolios, and performance assessment tests focusing on realistic types of problem solving. Our maps are also being designed to emphasize the strengths and needs of individual students, based on capabilities that we know can be changed through instruction, and to emphasize positive planning and optimizing functions aimed at ensuring maximum success ( Shavelson, 1991).
Reports that do not help students are not the kind we are interested in making available. Therefore, our learning progress maps are designed to emphasize a form of assessment that gives students lots of opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities through sampling over long periods of time and a variety of areas that explicitly fit students' individual interests and experience. In this way, records are not as easily influenced by factors such as cheating, sickness, or disinterest, and issues related to validity, reliability, and generalizability are addressed in the most straightforward ways possible ( Gardner, 1991; Shavelson, 1989).
Assessment reports. The computer-based learning progress maps described in this chapter are graphic, dynamic, interactive, intelligent, decision-focused reports designed to produce n-dimensional student profiles that are linked in meaningful ways to future-oriented objectives frameworks, such as the NCTM's 1989Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. They are capable of reporting assessment-relevant information from many types of data sources; and, their primary aims are to identify strengths and weaknesses of individual students for the purpose of optimizing educational opportunities.
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American Council on Education. ( 1988). One third of a nation. Report of the Commission on Minority Participation in Education and American Life. Washington, DC: ACE.