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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.Family and Consumer Sciences. by Janet F.
|Do Your Homework||After immigrating to the United States with his family he attended school at Brigham Young University — Idaho where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. He also focused on the areas of Criminology and Spanish while obtaining his degree.|
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|Why Standardized Tests Don't Measure Educational Quality - Educational Leadership||One or Several Judgments? Analytic Each criterion dimension, trait is evaluated separately.|
Laster and Julie Johnson. Table of Contents. Major Trends in Family and Consumer Sciences. Many forces shape FCS education (Redick, ). Transforming media into collaborative spaces with video, voice, and text commenting.
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