Assessment Reform and the Case for Learning-Focused Accountability

  • Loius Volante Brock University
  • Sonia Ben Jaafar Education and Evaluation Consultant EduEval


Calls for greater accountability within schools have led to an expansion, and in some cases, retraction of test-based accountability systems within many English-speaking Western nations. Countries such as England, United States, and Canada have all developed educational standards that are primarily measured in relation to standardized achievement test results. This paper discusses the documented impact and social consequences of external testing measures on students, teachers, and school systems within the Western culture of student performance. The discussion considers alternative assessment systems that are currently evolving into a framework of learning-focused accountability. The article concludes by discussing the implications of these progressive alternatives for policy-makers, school personnel, and institutions concerned with the training of teachers and administrators.