Reform at a Crossroads: A Call for Balanced Systems of Assessment and Accountability presents the findings and recommendations of NASBE’s 2009 Study Group on Assessment Systems for the 21st Century Learner. The Study Group found that today’s reliance on large-scale, standardized testing for accountability has failed to provide a system that can also guide teachers in helping students learn. To correct this, the report says, states and districts need to rethink testing to create a new paradigm for measuring the skills and knowledge graduates need to succeed in life-long learning and on the job. Our assessment systems must not only measure what students know, they must be able to provide educators and students with useful feedback for improving teaching and learning. Recommendations cover specific steps states should take in the areas of both standardized tests and classroom-based formative assessments, accountability, and much-needed training for educators in developing and using the results of assessments.

The full study group report is available for download below.