Educational accountability in the United States has a great impact on public school assessment practices. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on schools to demonstrate academic progress; this pressure is mainly in the form of standardized testing. Currently the assessment practices that are used are traditional and non-authentic forms of assessment that reveal only if a student can recognize or recall what they have learned. In an effort to redefine learning in our schools, emphasis needs to be placed on authentic educational assessments and standardized testing to improve student performance. An assessment should reflect real world applications of how knowledge and understanding are used. Assessments based on situations that are relevant to students' own experiences can motivate them to give their best performance.
One of the most essential educational tools is the classroom assessment. When used properly, assessments can help educators better understand what their students are learning. Classroom assessments help educators identify students strengths and weakness, monitor student learning and progress as well as plan and conduct instruction. Many question rather to use the more formal standardized testing or authentic learning strategies including the Multiple Intelligence (MI) theory.
Classroom assessments can do more than measure learning. How educators access and communicate the results send a clear message to students about what is worth learning, how we expect them to perform as well as how it should be learned. Linking instruction and assessment is critical to effective learning. Educators should provide students with various options for learning that include: different ways to learning (style and time), different assignments and different assessments.
The principal purpose of standardized testing is to gage student achievement on a state or national level, rather than to identify students in need of additional instructional strategies. Educators have an intense pressure to increase student test scores as they are held accountable for students learning under the guide of standardized testing movement. High stakes testing often determines the fate of a child's educational experience.
Authentic assessment performances include day to day activities that are engaging demonstrations of students abilities to tackle the curriculum. Children do not learn in the same way, therefore they should not be assessed in the same fashion. Incorporating the Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory will ensure that struggling students will be evaluated on content with an emphasis on intelligence, ability and learning. Rather than selecting from multiple choice options, students are demonstrating their literacy and mathematical abilities through a variety of activities.
Students should be provided with assignments that fit their intelligences. Creating a bulletin board is both a demonstration of spatial, intrapersonal and linguistic...