ERIC Number: ED190591
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: N/A
Alternatives to Standardized Testing.
Quinto, Frances; McKenna, Bernard
The National Education Association (NEA) opposes the use of standardized, norm-referenced tests of intelligence, achievement, and aptitude, citing problems with their substance, structure, administration, and use. NEA suggests five alternatives: (1) performance contracts; (2) teacher-student and teacher-parent-student interviews; (3) teacher-developed tests; (4) criterion-referenced tests; and (5) an open admissions policy in higher education. Performance contracts are valuable if students understand they are working for themselves and not for the teachers. Parents should be involved and teachers should be formally trained in interviewing techniques. Teacher-developed tests, unlike standardized tests, can be related directly to course objectives and instructional materials. The purposes of such tests should be pre-determined, and formats should vary to include multiple choice, essay, and longer problem-solving tasks. Criterion-referenced tests have conceptual advantages over norm-referenced tests, and teachers must be involved in the necessarily complex process of selecting or developing objectives. Arbitrary standards, such as minimum competency levels, cutting scores, and pass-fail points can make these tests resemble normed tests. Open admissions and work-experience credits, although not widespread practices, have shown promising results. (CP)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Criterion Referenced Tests, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Interviews, Open Enrollment, Parent Teacher Conferences, Performance Contracts, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Teacher Made Tests, Testing Problems
National Education Association, Instructional and Professional Development, 1201 16th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20036 (free).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Education Association, Washington, DC. Div. of Instruction and Professional Development.