The best way to find out what students know and can do is to look at their actual work. In a local assessment system, teachers document student products and processes. Research projects, oral presentations, essays, problem solving using computers, and science experiments allow evaluation of higher order thinking skills and deep content knowledge that standardized tests cannot measure. (Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet)
Does actual student work drive instruction and assessment? If so, now? If not, why?