Historically, a major role of assessment has been to detect and highlight differences in student learning in order to rank students according to their achievement. Such assessment experiences have produced winners and losers. Some students succeed early and build on winning streaks to learn more as they grow; others fail early and often, falling farther and farther behind.
As we all know, the mission of schools has changed. Today’s schools are less focused on merely sorting students and more focused on helping all students succeed in meeting standards. This evolution in the mission of schools means that we can’t let students who have not yet met standards fall into losing streaks, succumb to hopelessness, and stop trying.
Assessment today have multiple purposes
1. Assessment as aid for learning during instructional phase (formative assessment)
2. Assessment to certify achievement after instructional phase (summative assessment)
3. Assessment initiating lifelong learning (sustainable assessment)
In fact sustainable assessment is natural extension of formative assessment even after formal education is over