Supporting High School Students Through Assessment: What Have We Learned?
High school reforms that incorporate industry-valued skills—integrating academics with “real-world” teaching and learning—have led to important lessons for improving student assessment systems. Drawing on that knowledge, this paper addresses four assessment-related questions that need to be considered as states and localities refine and build upon existing assessment systems:
- What is the likely impact of increased high-stakes testing on industry-valued high school programs and the students they serve?
- What success has there been in using additional assessments—beyond state-mandated, academic-focused tests—for career-technical education (CTE) and other high school reform efforts?
- How can career-related and other SCANS-like skills be incorporated into states’ academic standards and assessments?
- How can assessment help support and improve contextual teaching and learning?
After addressing each of these questions based on a review of data and current state practices, this paper concludes with specific assessment-related recommendations to support industry-valued high school reform.
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