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Robust Assessment System(s)

The fundamental purpose of educational assessment is to understand and support student learning. Significant shifts at the federal level have caused changes for state-level assessment policies. The U.S. Department of Education’s Testing Action Plan dictates that states and districts review their assessment systems to ensure a rigorous alignment of teaching and learning. This plan also promotes different types of assessments, which yield different kinds of information. Assessments can differ in purpose, format, frequency of administration, and use, and since no single assessment should be the sole factor in determining an instructional plan for any student, educators should consider the purpose of educational assessments and put assessment in context by fostering a robust but balanced assessment system, which is critical to preparing all students equitably.