Structure of U.S. Education: Evaluation and Assessment

The United States does not use written or oral national examinations to determine graduation from school or access to further studies, and there is no national curriculum on which to base such examinations. School curricula are set by local school districts, private schools, and homeschooling parents with reference to state standards and postsecondary requirements. Postsecondary or tertiary curricula are determined by the individual institutions with reference to accreditation requirements, professional requirements, and the expectations of graduate programs and employers.

There is considerable commonality across the U.S. education system despite the absence of legally enforced national curricula or examinations. Common evaluation and assessment standards and tools are the result of the pressures of the competitive academic marketplace, the expectations and requirements of employers and state agencies, and the standards required by accrediting agencies and professional and research associations.

The following links will take you to information on important aspects of assessment and evaluation as practiced in the U.S. education system.


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Last Modified: 02/21/2008