Reform in mathematics assessment must be based not simply on what is easy to assess but must more importantly on what needs to be assessed.
transmission of knowledge to teaching as the stimulation of learning. They view teachers as the central agents for changing school mathematics and ask that teachers be given continuing support and adequate resources.
Learning as sense-making and teaching as providing experiences in which sense can be made are at the crux of the vision of school mathematics emerging today in American society.28 Yet, these ideas are far from new. Thinkers as diverse as Aristotle, Dewey, and Piaget or as similar as Pestalozzi, Froebel, and Pólya have all expressed such thoughts. Mathematics teachers have for centuries found it difficult to lead students to a deep understanding of how and why mathematics works as it does. What is different now that makes successful reform in mathematics education more likely?
Part of the answer can be found in the reports noted above, as they document how efforts are moving ahead together, for perhaps the first time, on three fronts—curriculum, professional development, and assessment—to ensure the necessary transformation of mathematics learning. Another part of the answer can be found in the widespread consensus that change in assessment is critical to improving education. Content and measurement experts alike have been exploring ways of creating assessments that promote and support educational reform. Until recently, however, there was little collaboration and very few points of cross-fertilization between the two fields on how this might be accomplished. This picture is changing. As mathematics experts are grappling with educational principles to guide assessment, so measurement experts are re-examining the criteria by which the technical quality of assessments is evaluated. Like new views of mathematics teaching and learning, new technical criteria and procedures for making them operational are being refined at the present time.29