I remember during the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the concept of benchmark assessments took center stage. It seems like everyone was suddenly talking about using benchmark assessments to ensure students from every sub-group were learning. In my school district, the teachers settled on the idea of giving three or four benchmark assessments throughout the year.
Dutifully, we’d set aside instructional minutes to give those benchmark assessments, but the results never changed. The persistent achievement gaps between various sub-groups remained. Why?
In this article, Robert Slavin shares the surprising research that benchmark assessments do not make any difference in achievement and why this is the case.