Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Current educational policy utilizes standardized assessments to measure students’ academic abilities and to determine whether schools are successful in their education of students. The purpose of this project is to expose holes in using only standardized assessments and the implications this practice has for students, teachers and administrators. Proposed alternatives to standardized assessments that could effectively measure students’ academic ability include performance assessment, exhibitions, portfolio assessment and computer adaptive testing (CAT). Schools across the country are taking part in initiatives driven by the effectiveness of alternative assessment in action. In order to determine whether the literature on the implications of standardized assessment and effectiveness of alternative approaches was salient and relevant, a survey was distributed to teachers within the states of MA and RI. Survey results concluded that teachers have a negative opinion about standardized assessments in schools regarding their overall effectiveness of gauging academic achievement and their impact on their everyday classroom instruction. Also, teachers favor performance assessment and exhibitions and remain neutral to positive about portfolio assessment and CAT.

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