I was visiting a middle school the other day and saw a sign on a teacher's classroom wall that said "Assessment is your friend." It had a picture of a cuddly looking puppy on it. There was no explanation for the puppy, so I'm not sure why it was there. But it was cute and the message seemed to be saying that "assessment" if perhaps not man or woman's best friend, is, at the very least, something you need not fear. Now we are living in an era of high stakes testing and standards, so many would believe that there is much to fear about assessment. But what Joe Kahne, Bethany Rogers, and I are here to talk about today is program assessment, specifically assessment of educational programs that aim to promote good citizenship and, hence, democracy.
Westheimer, Joel; Kahne, Joesph; and Rogers, Bethany, "What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Assessing Democratic Values" (2000). Civic Engagement. 19.