Large-scale assessments (LSAs) play an important role in education policy decisions, accountability, and education planning worldwide. They are also the object of a very active area of research regarding the planning, development, and implementation of LSAs and dissemination of their results. The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999) defines assessment as "Any systematic method of obtaining information from tests and other sources, used to draw inferences about characteristics of people, objects, or programs" (p. 172). LSAs are standardized assessments conducted on a regional, national, or international scale involving large student populations. In this book, the focus is primarily on assessments of learning and achievement. In this chapter we provide a brief historical background to LSAs and a description of the unique contribution of each chapter, concluding with a word on the future of LSAs.