Pedro Noguera, NYU Professor of Education says, “No”.

They’re not quite the same. When you focus on achievement, you focus on test scores and you could miss out on whether or not the kids are actually learning.

From the ASCD Capital Connections Newsletter (reprinted here):

Less than half of the general public, and only 30 percent of parents, believe standardized tests help inform teachers about their students’ academic performance…representatives from both parties have introduced bills to trim the number of federally required tests.

Wow. So how do we measure learning? Even if many agree that current tests are not the way, there are few good alternatives.
We believe in a few principles. Assessments should measure students’ thinking skills, ability to solve problems and ability to use their understanding in a new situation. What do you think?