Independent researchers have found that evaluating and paying teachers for test scores is either damaging or irrelevant to improved learning.* Unfortunately, even evidence of harm does not seem to affect the growing popularity of such schemes. Policymakers, including U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, should stop promoting this failed approach.
The following principles are drawn from the report of the Expert Panel on Assessment of the Forum on Educational Accountability and represent a launching point from which conference discussions on what is necessary to construct high-quality assessment and accountability systems may begin.
1. Ensure all students have equitable and adequate access to the resources needed to succeed.
2. Construct comprehensive and coherent systems of state and local assessments of student learning that: