The level of literacy that an individual should acquire is a matter of personal choice depending on his or her inclination and the role that he or she will be required to play in society. This offers scope for learning choices with regards to the tools of learning. This compels the teacher to personalize his or her pedagogy to meet the needs of the individual learner in the group.
Training in literacy should be connected to actual use of it in real-time situations. The social context in which we live is democratic and multicultural and literacy training should take into consideration these aspects of our society. A comprehensive literacy assessment should test whether these tasks are fulfilled in actual end product of instruction.
Based on the realization students develop on a dynamic continuum and they have different rates of progress, teaching should be tailor made to suit the needs of individual learner. Dr.Bonnie Campbell Hill has analyzed the levels of achievable benchmarks for different age groups and the level of competencies that students should have in that age. By bringing also the parents as active partners he has reiterated the concept that learning is a social activity that extends beyond the four walls of the classroom. The benchmark books are chosen by Dr.Hill to give the student a chance to relish reading and experience success (Hill, 2001).
Assuming that we have a curriculum that is apt for the American student, the effectiveness of the learning process will depend on the tools of assessment that are employed by the teacher. Standardized tests are inadequate as diagnostic tools. This is because they provide only final answers, record scores in numbers, and are administered to a group. They do not give any clue to the skill of the learner in problem solving. Standardized tests do not accommodate the individual differences of the learners. American society is multi-ethnic and standardized tests do not take into account this aspect of our culture.
According to Wagner, Assessment methods do not need to be major entrepreneurial enterprises, but rather just robust enough to answer key policy questions at the national and local levels (Wagner, 2003). In order to make learning effective the approach should be primarily learner centered. The child, its parents, the community and the need of the American Society for resources should be the main factors of consideration. The education research around the globe has developed what is called the authentic literacy testing movement and
American educators have whole-heartedly embraced this methodology because of its interface with the American reality. One important tool that can deliver results is the student portfolio. In this method learner's activities are documented throughout. These include short paragraphs, essays, longer writing samples as well as collections of student-authored books, videotapes of plays written and produced by the class. This portfolio does not capture a moment of student's performance; it gives a wider view of the stage-by-stage