Large-Scale Assessments in Science Education
This chapter focuses on changes in large-scale assessments in science education, at the international, national, and state levels. Historically, these assessments are for purposes such as international comparisons, accountability, summative assessment for reporting to others outside the classroom, qualification for entry to college, and evaluation of programs. Thus, the term “large-scale assessments” encompasses quite a variety of assessments that differ in their purposes, formats, and other features. It is important to consider the specifics of those features to avoid inappropriate generalizations-ones that imply all large-scale assessments have the same characteristics (Kifer, 2000).