Authentic Assessment and Accountability


Determining how, what and how well a student is learning is an essential part of teaching. While assessment too often is reduced to standardized testing, teachers and researchers have created a wide range of powerful assessment tools and practices that are being used in schools across the nation.

FairTest has produced numerous publications about authentic performance assessment, including:

The Case Against High Stakes Testing

The Case Against High Stakes Testing (Updated January 2017)

These materials make the case against relying on test scores to make important educational decisions about students or schools - what is called “high-stakes testing.” Common examples include making a child repeat a grade or withholding a student’s high-school diploma solely based on their score on a test, or relying on test scores to decide whether a teacher or school should be sanctioned or rewarded.

Civil Rights, Disability Orgs. Call for "Multiple Measures" in "No Child" Overhaul Legislation (PDF)


This page contains materials and links that analyze and critique standardized test-driven models of accountability, such as the "No Child Left Behind"Act; and that propose, discuss and evaluate different approaches to accountability.

Because accountability depends greatly on the proper use of high-quality assessment, you should also visit The Case against High-Stakes Testing and The Case for Authentic Assessment.

A Learner-Centered School Accountability Model: An Alternative to High Stakes Testing

Ken Jones

High Stakes, High Risks: The Dangers of High Stakes Testing

National Testing

On these pages, FairTest provides extensive information on national testing requirements, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We include materials on opting out and still-relevant documents on No Child Left Behind NCLB), as well as on alternative assessment and accountability.  .  

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Chicago School Reform: Lessons for the Nation

Syndicate content