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National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper    

OP 39. Ahead to the Past: Assessing Student Achievement in Writing

By Robert C. Calfee

Summary: This paper, written in non-technical language for a general audience, outlines recent developments in the area of assessment. Calfee provides a brief history of assessment methods, including the development of standardized achievement tests and the evolution of alternative forms of assessment such as writing portfolios. He then summarizes a Center survey of portfolio practices in classrooms across the nation, demonstrating how portfolios are understood and interpreted in a variety of ways. He then discusses the role of students and parents in alternative assessment and concludes with observations about where the portfolio movement is headed. August, 1994; 10 pages.

OP 39. Ahead to the Past: Assessing Student Achievement in Writing
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