ERIC Number: ED336414
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec-20
Reference Count: 0
Student Assessment in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Educational Policy Studies. Policy Paper Number 6.
Cooley, William W.
The role of statewide testing programs and the direction Pennsylvania should take in statewide educational assessment are discussed. The major purposes proposed for statewide testing programs are: (1) informing state policy; (2) curriculum reform; and (3) accountability. The ultimate purpose of statewide testing programs is to improve student learning in the state's public schools. The state has the constitutional responsibility to provide a thorough and efficient system of public education. Results from Pennsylvania's Testing for Essential Learning and Literacy Skills (TELLS) program indicate that the present system is not adequate. It must be recognized that a test alone is not an accountability system. Student assessment should be designed so that the state and the districts are accountable for improving student educational outcomes. In designing a new state assessment system, Pennsylvania must: correct prior misuse of tests; establish a curriculum syllabus that tests must reflect; augment multiple-choice tests with other formats in order to assess a wide spectrum of desired student skills and knowledge. It is concluded that states should monitor outcomes at the district level, districts should monitor outcomes at the school level, and schools should monitor outcomes at the classroom level. Because districts differ in specific educational tasks, it is recommended that districts be held accountable for improving student performance, but not for the level of student performance. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Accountability, Curriculum Development, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Minimum Competency Testing, Public Schools, School Districts, School Responsibility, Standardized Tests, State Programs, Student Evaluation, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.; Pittsburgh Univ., PA. School of Education.
Identifiers: Pennsylvania; Testing for Essential Learning and Literacy Skills