Assessment: What's New. And Not so New. A Review of Six Recent Books

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  • 1 San Diego State University

The field of educational assessment is rapidly changing. Calls for reform have been heard for some time, and they are now being heeded in unprecedented ways. One outcome is that we are suddenly undergoing a deluge of books and articles about assessment in mathematic education, ranging in topics from broad impassioned tatements about the need for change, to specific hypotheses about how to change and what the anticipated outcomes might be, to actual implementations representing specific efforts to change, to sharp criticisms about some of the unexpected results of change. The current situation leaves us, as reviewers, in something of a quandary. On the one hand, there is certainly a need to keep abreast of important contribution to the literature, and we want to review a many of the new books as is feasible. On the other hand, it seems somewhat unfair to review books that attempt to deal with ongoing and urgent changes in educational assessment. becaue they are all too often outdated by the time they appear. All researchers are aware of the lag between the time a manuscript is written and the time it reaches its audience. Sometimes the lag is great, and sometime it is s mall. For rapidly changing fields—like educational assessment—a large lag is especially problematic because what seems new and revolutionary at the time of writing may no longer appear so new by the time a reader encounters it. Such is the case with some of the books we review here.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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