In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Academic Assessment

  • Introduction
  • Reference Works
  • Journals
  • Summative Assessments
  • Technology and Assessment
  • Policy and Accountability

Psychology Academic Assessment
Karen L. Gischlar
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 May 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0242


In the field of education, assessment is used to evaluate and document the learning progress and educational needs of students. Assessment takes many forms, including direct and indirect methods and summative and formative measures, and occurs across levels from the individual student to the district and state levels. At the individual student, classroom, and school levels, academic assessment data are used to make instructional decisions regarding differentiation, intervention, program placement, and special education eligibility. Specifically, academic skills assessment enables the educator to determine student performance on tasks in the basics of reading, writing, and math against a criterion or standard (e.g., grade-level expectations) and in relation to same age or grade peers. At the district level, high-stakes statewide assessment data are used for accountability purposes, such as documenting adequate student progress. Additionally, statewide assessment results often are used to “grade” and rank schools and may influence decisions regarding allocation of resources and school choice vouchers. The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to provide an overview of general resources for academic assessment as well as more-specific resources for differing modalities and methods of assessment, applications, and implications for policy and practice. The bibliography includes seminal and contemporary references from educational publishers and peer-reviewed sources.

General Overviews

This section includes books and chapters on academic assessment that are accessible to those taking graduate coursework and to practicing professionals. Calls for increasing accountability in the schools demand that systems continually assess students to monitor progress and to enable sound instructional decisions that are grounded in data (see Shapiro, et al. 2011, cited under Book Chapters). Thus, particular attention has been paid in this section to texts that focus on systems of formative assessments, including curriculum-based measures, which allow for ongoing monitoring and decision-making.

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