Advantages in Standards-based Assessment

Students are compared to a standard that all can reach, rather than artificially ranked into a bell curve where some students must be called failures, and only a few are allowed to succeed

Humans, not computers can evaluate the entire value of a response rather than imposing a strict right or wrong that is not open to interpretation

Free response uses and tests for higher order thinking, which is important in most new education standards.

Computer scored multiple choice tests have been shown to have deleterious effects for minorities, unfairly denying opportunities.

A criterion-based test is a test worth teaching to, unlike a multiple choice test.

Only a standards based test is aligned with standards based education reform, which is based on a belief that all students can succeed, not only a few.

Passing a 10th grade test and awarding a Certificate of Initial Mastery ensures that all students will graduate with the skills they need to succeed in the world-class economy of the twenty-first century.

Students will no longer be cheated by passing them on to the next grade without obtaining what every child at the grade level must be able to know and do.

No longer will schools produce graduates who cannot read their own diplomas.

When all students pass all standards, as is the central belief of standards based education reform, all students from all demographics will achieve the same test score, eliminating the mysterious achievement gap which has previously been shown to occur between all groups on all tests. However, as of 2006, no standards based assessment has yet achieved this optimistic (critics might call it impossible) goal, though many show rising scores.