Public schools are experiencing a new era of assessment and evaluation with the implementation of state accountability systems and No Child Left Behind. How can Catholic schools respond by recognizing the legitimacy of evaluation and assessment, while also critically examining its appropriateness? To help address this question, the article contains a brief history of how Catholic schools have accommodated evaluation and assessment demands, followed by a critical examination of standards-based accountability systems and high-stakes testing in relation to the identity and current milieu of Catholic schools. It also presents an expanded understanding of assessment and evaluation, which draws heavily on qualitative research paradigms.

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