The use of standardized test scores to facilitate school reform is now a cornerstone of education policy in the United States. Systems that rely on test scores to hold schools, teachers, and students accountable for performance have been adopted in one form or another by almost all states over the past decade or more. The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), has made such test-based accountability the crux of national education policy as well. Furthermore, schools and school districts are using assessment data as a tool for local decision-making.
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