What is the contextual significance of assessments in the field of education?

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Assessments are both very important and very controversial in the field of education.

Assessments are vital to the field of education.  Without assessments, teachers cannot find out what their students are learning.  These assessments can be formal, as in the case of tests that teachers give at the ends of units.  They can also be informal.  Teachers can do things on a random basis, asking students questions or giving quick quizzes.  All of these are very important because they allow teachers to monitor the degree to which their students are learning.

However, assessments are extremely controversial.  This is largely due to the rise in standardized testing due to such things as the No Child Left Behind law.  There are many who feel that standardized assessments are coming to have too much of a role in education.  People feel that they are being emphasized too much in comparison to assessments that teachers make themselves that are based around what they are actually teaching.

In these ways, assessments are very important to education but are also becoming controversial because of the rise in “high stakes testing.”

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