Some Comments on Assessment in U.S. Education


  • Robert Stake University of Illinois



Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Policy Formation


We do not know much about what assessment has accomplished but we know it has not brought about the reform of American Education. The costs and benefits of large scale mandated achievement testing are too complex to be persuasively reported. Therefore, educational policy needs to be based more on deliberated interpretations of assessment, experience, and ideology. Evaluation of assessment consequences, however inconclusive, has an important role to play in the deliberations.


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Author Biography

Robert Stake, University of Illinois

Robert Stake is professor of education and director of CIRCE at the University of Illinois. Since 1963 he has been a specialist in the evaluation of educational programs, moving from psychometric to qualitative inquiries. Among the evaluative studies he has directed are works in science and mathematics in elementary and secondary schools, model programs and conventional teaching of the arts in schools, development of teaching with sensitivity to gender equity; education of teachers for the deaf and for youth in transition from school to work settings, environmental education and special education programs for gifted students, and the reform of urban education. Stake has authored Quieting Reform, a book on Charles Murray's evaluation of Cities-in -Schools; two books on methodology, Evaluating the Arts in Education and The Art of Case Study Research; and Custom and Cherishing, a book with Liora Bresler and Linda Mabry on teaching the arts in ordinary elementary school classrooms in America. Recently he led a multi-year evaluation study of the Chicago Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science. For his evaluation work, in 1988, he received the Lazarsfeld Award from the American Evaluation Association, and, in 1994, an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala.




How to Cite

Stake, R. (1998). Some Comments on Assessment in U.S. Education. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 6, 14.