Despite the knowledge of MI theory, teachers still attempt (through other methods) to discover the optimal manner of evaluating learners with dissimilar learning styles who show various academic strengths. No singular approach to assessment is effective for every student. The challenge continues to be discovering the best type of assessment to match student learning style. An assessment must mirror intelligence diversity and classroom learning styles. For example, students who possess bodily kinesthetic intelligence will not demonstrate their total knowledge range on an essay test.
Additionally, the environment of special learners is altering quickly — a world that requires fresh skills, knowledge and capabilities for success for critical thought, inference and analysis. Assessment alterations must meet these changing needs. Plus, educators understand better how students learn. Adjusting content standards at the national level — then assessments to perform differently — is necessary to meet competencies required in the current work environment shift. Present content standards do not align with standardized tests. Relying on standardized test evaluations results in an instructional emphasis on too much knowledge and not-so-relevant basic skills that lack learner engagement and promote passivity. It is paramount to remember that the evaluation format bears upon the method of instruction. The future of assessments must move away from true/false and multiple-choice assessments that rarely allow learners to demonstrate their real knowledge and capabilities in real-life situations. "The notion that learning comes about by the accretion of little bits is outmoded learning theory. Current models of learning based on cognitive psychology contend that learners gain understanding when they construct their own cognitive maps of the interconnections among concepts and facts. Thus, real learning cannot be spoon-fed, one skill at a time." (Shepard, 1989, pp. 5-6).
Of course among assessment issues in special education, basic skills remain important for educational goals. However, the flaw lies in the emphasis of basic skills merely to raise standardized test scores. Ideally, assessments should reflect the basic skills learners achieve in the classroom and those skills required when entering real-world situations. Student performance on alternate assessments (in lieu of standardized tests) lets special learners demonstrate these capabilities.