For many students entering community colleges, the first stop on campus is at an assessment center. More than half of these students will be placed into developmental education as a result of their scores on reading, writing, and mathematics entry assessments, yet there is little evidence that this improves student outcomes.
This paper examines alternative perspectives on the role of assessment and how it is best implemented, reviews the validity of the most common assessments, and discusses emerging directions in assessment policy and practice. It concludes with implications for policy and research.
A version of this paper was published as an article in Community College Review, vol. 39 2011.