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James Popham Educators are experiencing almost relentless pressure to show their effectiveness.
Unfortunately, the chief indicator by which most communities judge a school staff's success is student performance on standardized achievement tests. These days, if a school's standardized test scores are high, people think the school's staff is effective.
If a school's standardized test scores are low, they see the school's staff as ineffective. In either case, because educational quality is being measured by the wrong yardstick, those evaluations are apt to be in error. One of the chief reasons that students' standardized test scores continue to be the most important factor in evaluating a school is deceptively simple.
Most educators do not really understand why a standardized test provides a misleading estimate of a school staff's effectiveness. What's in a Name? A standardized test is any examination that's administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
There are two major kinds of standardized tests: Standardized aptitude tests predict how well students are likely to perform in some subsequent educational setting.
The most common examples are the SAT-I and the ACT both of which attempt to forecast how well high school students will perform in college. But standardized achievement-test scores are what citizens and school board members rely on when they evaluate a school's effectiveness.
Nationally, five such tests are in use: A Standardized Test's Assessment Mission The folks who create standardized achievement tests are terrifically talented. For example, think about the parents who discover that their 4th grade child is performing really well in language arts 94th percentile and mathematics 89th percentilebut rather poorly in science 39th percentile and social studies 26th percentile.
Such information, because it illuminates a child's strengths and weaknesses, can be helpful not only in dealing with their child's teacher, but also in determining at-home assistance.
Similarly, if teachers know how their students compare with other students nationwide, they can use this information to devise appropriate classroom instruction.
The substantial size of the content domain that a standardized achievement test is supposed to represent poses genuine difficulties for the developers of such tests. If a test actually covered all the knowledge and skills in the domain, it would be far too long.
So standardized achievement tests often need to accomplish their measurement mission with a much smaller collection of test items than might otherwise be employed if testing time were not an issue.
Frequently, such tests try to do their assessment job with only 40 to 50 items in a subject field—sometimes fewer.
Accurate Differentiation As a Deity The task for those developing standardized achievement tests is to create an assessment instrument that, with a handful of items, yields valid norm-referenced interpretations of a student's status regarding a substantial chunk of content. Items that do the best job of discriminating among students are those answered correctly by roughly half the students.
Devlopers avoid items that are answered correctly by too many or by too few students. As a consequence of carefully sampling content and concentrating on items that discriminate optimally among students, these test creators have produced assessment tools that do a great job of providing relative comparisons of a student's content mastery with that of students nationwide.
Assuming that the national norm group is genuinely representative of the nation at large, then educators and parents can make useful inferences about students.
One of the most useful of those inferences typically deals with students' relative strengths and weaknesses across subject areas, such as when parents find that their daughter sparkles in mathematics but sinks in science.
It's also possible to identify students' relative strengths and weaknesses within a given subject area if there are enough test items to do so. For instance, if a item standardized test in mathematics allocates 15 items to basic computation, 15 items to geometry, and 15 items to algebra, it might be possible to get a rough idea of a student's relative strengths and weaknesses in those three realms of mathematics.
More often than not, however, these tests contain too few items to allow meaningful within-subject comparisons of students' strengths and weaknesses. A second kind of useful inference that can be based on standardized achievement tests involves a student's growth over time in different subject areas.
For example, let's say that a child is given a standardized achievement test every third year. We see that the child's percentile performances in most subjects are relatively similar at each testing, but that the child's percentiles in mathematics appear to drop dramatically at each subsequent testing.Home > Research Center > The Benefits of Curriculum Alignment.
Research Center. improved student performance on standardized tests can result when teachers carefully align instruction with learning goals and assessments.
supports teachers in delivering it and monitors implementation and results. The school provides teachers. 34 problems with standardized tests.
with its March 7 ruling that standardized tests “can only achieve their laudable purpose” if all students “attempt to answer all questions to the. Comprehensive school reform works on the theory that school improvement must address all aspects of school effectiveness, including rigorous curriculum and high standards, efficient school governance, solid community-school partnerships, on-going staff development, up to date technology, and increased parent involvement.
Proponents of state standardized tests believe these tests drive schools to focus on getting all students to meet basic proficiency levels and achieve basic skills.
The tests provide a measure of accountability for what goes on in the classroom. Karen Schweitzer is a business school admissions consultant, curriculum developer, and education writer. She has been advising MBA applicants since Updated December 05, Curriculum design is a term used to describe the purposeful, deliberate and systematic organization of curriculum.
The results were particularly striking at the elementary level, where 81 percent of teachers reported that extra time devoted to math or language arts meant less time for other subjects.
It wasn’t long after its passage that a narrow, scripted curriculum blanketed schools coast to coast. there’s some good news. We’re getting the.