An authentic tool that addresses regional variability and can be tied to national benchmarks [and] standards.
There should be a standardization of assessment across the board while, at the same time, allowing for individual differences.
Clearly, the challenge lies in creating national standards, benchmarks, and assessment tools that embrace the multi-faceted purposes of education and are tailored to the diversity of regional and local needs, as well as to the diversity of learners and their ways of learning.
It should be noted that the data was peppered with the words "standards" and "standardized," and these terms meant different things to different people. In some instances, "standardized" meant a type of assessment such as the CAAT or TABE. In other instances, "standardized" meant that everybody uses the same assessment tool. The term "national standards" appeared to be synonymous with best practices-they are an ideal or goal to work towards.
Many respondents expressed a need for a uniform set of national standards and/or assessment tools, but did not explain how this would benefit the literacy community. respondent commented, "there should be an assessment tool for adult literacy programs that is the same throughout the province, if not the country." Another respondent wanted "provincial and/or national assessment tools that are understood and accepted across institutions and jurisdictions."
Respondents who did explain the benefits of national standards and/or assessment tools focused on the importance of a seamless educational system that would allow students transfer between jurisdictions and across delivery agencies. These statements focus on importance of portable assessment tools: