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Authors:  Dan Greathouse and Kathleen Donalson
Assessment is one of the most prominent issues in the field of education today. The amount of testing occurring in the public schools appears to be increasing at an alarming rate as the public and policy makers demand more accountability from these government-funded institutions. Essentially, educational assessment can be utilized for three general purposes. First, assessment may be used for measuring the academic progress of school systems. Second, assessment may be utilized to determine student eligibility for special education programs. Third, assessment may be used for the development of specific and, hopefully, effective educational interventions. With the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB, U.S. Dept. of Education, 2002), the focus of assessment is primarily on the first general purpose or, more specifically, academic accountability and overall school progress. Although this type of assessment will continue to be used to track academic progress and encourage educators to be accountable for student progress, the focus of this chapter is on using reading assessment to drive educational instructional decisions that specifically address reading difficulties. 

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