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Assessment may be defined as any method used to better understand the current knowledge that a student possesses This implies that assessment can be as simple as a teachers subjective judgment based on a single observation of student performance or as complex as a five-hour standardized test The idea of current knowledge implies that what a student knows is always changing and that we can make judgments about student achievement through comparisons over a period of time Assessment may affect decisions about grades advancement placement instructional needs and curriculum Purposes of Assessment The reasons why we assess vary considerably across many groups of people within the educational community Who Needs To Assess Purposes of Assessment Policymakers use assessment to Set standards Focus on goals Monitor the quality of education Rewardsanction various practices Formulate policies Direct resources including personnel and money Determine effects of tests Administrators and school Monitor program effectiveness planners use assessment to Identify program strengths and weaknesses Designate program priorities Assess alternatives Plan and improve programs Teachers and administrators Make grouping decisions use assessment to Perform individual diagnosis and prescription Monitor student progress Carry out curriculum evaluation and refinement Provide masterypromotiongrading and other feedback Motivate students Determine grades Parents and students use Gauge student progress assessment to Assess student strengths and weaknesses Determine school accountability Make informed educational and career decisions Effects of Traditional Tests Billions of dollars are spent each year on education yet there is widespread dissatisfaction with our educational system among educators parents policymakers and the business community Efforts to reform and restructure schools have focused attention on the role of assessment in school improvement After years of increases in the quantity of formalized testing and the consequences of poor test scores many educators have begun to strongly
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