When the first edition of this study, For Every Child, Multiple Measures, appeared two years ago, the educational landscape was dominated by looming change. The Common Core State Standards had been agreed upon by 46 states, and two assessment consortia had been created to develop next-generation assessments intended to supplant the array of state accountability tests. Into that landscape, the first study opened the door to a better understanding of how parents, teachers and district administrators perceive assessment—something that had not been explored.
In 2014, this new study lands in an equally fascinating and even more polarized educational arena. The Common Core State Standards are undergoing intense public scrutiny, the two test consortia are field-testing their summative tests, and teachers in particular are increasingly calling into question the role of testing in measuring teacher effectiveness. We also decided that it was essential to add the student voice to this new research. So for the first time, students speak directly on what assessment means to them, and how they believe that assessments shape their learning.