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R40514 Assessment in Elementary and Secondary Education: A Primer Summary

By Erin D. Caffrey


In recent years, federal education legislation has placed an increased emphasis on assessment in schools. Perhaps most notably, Title I-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), requires states to test all students annually in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school in the areas of reading, mathematics, and science. These assessments are used as key indicators in an accountability system that determines whether schools are making progress with respect to student achievement. To receive Title I funding, states must also participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a standards-based national test given at grades 4 and 8. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to use assessments to identify students with disabilities and track their progress according to individualized learning goals. In addition to assessments required by federal law, elementary and secondary school students generally participate in many other assessments, which range from small-scale classroom assessments to high-stakes exit exams. This report provides a framework for understanding various types of assessments that are administered in elementary and secondary schools. It broadly discusses various purposes o

Year: 2011
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