The Influence of Large-Scale Assessment of Reading Comprehension on Classroom Practice: A Commentary
Large-scale assessments have traditionally been used for purposes external to the classroom such as monitoring of educational programs or large numbers of students. In contrast, other types of assessment have typically been used to address purposes internal to the classroom, such as instructional decision making for individual students. However, as the stakes associated with large-scale instruments have increased, their influence on educational practice at all levels has increased as well. The differences between assessments traditionally used for internal and external purposes create a set of tensions that need to be explored when considering the influence of large-scale assessments on educa-tional practice in the classroom-where it really matters (Wixson, Valencia, & Lipson, 1994). This means attending to the nature of these assessments as well as the purposes for which they are used.