Best Practices for State Assessment Systems Part I: Summary by National Research Council, Alexandra Beatty et al.

By National Research Council, Alexandra Beatty et al.

Educators and coverage makers within the usa have trusted assessments to degree academic growth for greater than one hundred fifty years. in the course of the 20th century, technical advances, corresponding to machines for computerized scoring and computer-based scoring and reporting, have supported states in a turning out to be reliance on standardized assessments for statewide responsibility.

nation overview info were pointed out as facts for claims approximately many achievements of public schooling, and the exams have additionally been blamed for major failings. As criteria come below new scrutiny, so, too, do the checks that degree their effects. The target for this workshop, the 1st of 2, was once to gather details and views on review that may be of use to nation officers and others as they assessment present overview practices and think about advancements.

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Testing also provokes reactions from stakeholders, particularly politicians. LOOKING BACK In 1990 performance and other kinds of alternative assessments were popular in the states, with 24 of them using, developing, or exploring possibilities for applying one of these approaches (Stecher and Hamilton, 2009). Today they are much less prevalent. States have moved away from these approaches, primarily for political and budget reasons, but a look at several of the most prominent examples highlights some lessons, as Brain Stecher explained in a synopsis.

A coherent system is one in which each element (including the summative and formative assessments) measures consistent constructs and contributes distinct but related information that educators can use. Annual, systemwide, summative tests receive the most attention, he pointed out, but the great majority of assessments that students deal with are those that teachers use to measure daily, weekly, and monthly progress. Therefore, classroom assessments are the key to effective instruction and learning, he emphasized.

Moreover, there is no evidence that engaging assessments are more valid or useful than traditional ones, and the flashiness may disguise the wasting of a valuable opportunity. What makes an assessment innovative, in Lazer’s view, is that it expands measurement beyond the constructs that can be measured easily with multiplechoice items. Both open-ended and performance-based assessments offer possibilities for doing this, as does technology. Performance assessments offer a number of possibilities: the opportunity to assess in a way that is more directly relevant to the real-world application of the skills in question, the opportunity to obtain more relevant instructional feedback, a broadening of what can be measured, and the opportunity to better integrate assessment and instruction.

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