ERIC Number: ED418373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Reading National Assessment.
In England and Wales, a National Curriculum initiated in 1988 was designed to ensure that all schools provided a curriculum which represented different areas of knowledge. The past 20 years has increasingly seen more emphasis on the link between the financial amounts spent on education and subsequent return on this money. The impact of the National Curriculum and the related tests is filtering down the educational ladder. A consequence could well be a preschool National Curriculum. Formal trials of Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) were conducted on a sample size of over 6,000 7-year-old children from a range of schools across England. However, recognized standards of validity and reliability seem remarkably absent in the model of SATs. What worries the teaching profession is ranking schools on merit from the results obtained across particular subjects on tests which have weaknesses. There seems to be a national isolationism with respect to appropriate approaches to testing literacy. A significant lesson from this experience is the importance of having teachers as part of the process. The revised National Curriculum with "level descriptions" for teaching and learning is a step forward in putting the child at the center of the assessment process. Government recognition that primary teachers need more help with the complexities in assessing children's progress is another welcome step. The wealth of international experience should be harnessed to refine national assessment to alleviate the expensive trial and error initiatives. (Contains 18 references.) (RS)
Descriptors: British National Curriculum, Foreign Countries, Literacy, Performance Based Assessment, Primary Education, Standardized Tests, Test Reliability, Test Validity, Testing Programs
Thirty-three selected papers from this conference are available on the "Literacy Online" Website: http://www.literacyonline.org
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: England; Wales
Note: Paper presented at the World Literacy Conference (Philadelphia, PA, March 12-15, 1996).