Essays in Education


No Child Left Behind (2001) legislation emphasizes the use of large-scale assessments in evaluating student proficiency in core academic areas. Classroom-based measures of proficiency, such as research projects, classroom assessments, and homework assignments, also provide rich data regarding students’ academic progress. This article articulates three areas where classroom-based measures can complement the large-scale assessment data used in NCLB reports of school, district and state progress: 1) Alignment of curriculum to state standards, 2) Assessment of student achievement, and 3) Identifying strategies for teaching in a diverse classroom. Making links between classroom instruction, student work, and large-scale assessment will be critical to understanding the mechanisms behind gains in proficiency. The article concludes with an example of possible methods for classroom-based research in the context of NCLB.

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