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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter describes the increasing role of assessment in music in a policy-driven accountability movement. As policy is related to politics and power, assessment has a major connecting role. The emphasis is on understanding the context in which music assessment is critical in providing the interpretive data from students, the curriculum, teacher education, and music programs. The context offered is historical and international, allowing for comparisons and trend analysis. Today’s accountability policies are well intentioned but inadequate as the United States lacks both an overall education and arts policy. In an effort to establish value in music education, policymakers have accepted a range of assessment indicators from regular tests to observations, performances, case studies, portfolios, and even speculations on needed resources for optimum opportunity to learn. Policymakers are receptive to outcomes other than skills to include “whole-child” assessments but less inclined to accept indicators of progress.

Keywords: music education, assessment, reform, accountability, policy, value, economics, teacher evaluation, priorities, evaluation

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