ERIC Number: ED293883
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May
Reference Count: N/A
Standards of Competence: A Multi-Site Case Study of School Reform. Project: Effects of Testing Reforms and Standards.
Ellwein, Mary Catherine; Glass, Gene V.
A qualitative case study involving five educational institutions assessed the use of competency testing as a prerequisite for high school graduation, criterion for admission into college, criterion for teacher certification, and statewide assessment tool. Focus was on persons and processes involved in setting educational standards associated with minimum competency tests. More specifically, decision makers who determine the test scores that examinees must earn if they are to pass through the gates of the system were studied. Data were gathered via interviews based on a formal protocol. Results indicate that competency tests and standards function primarily as symbolic gestures rather than instrumental reforms. If institutions and agencies currently engaged in competency testing and standard-setting wish to make claims of effectiveness, they must examine the consequences of such reforms. These organizations must track student performance and link it to subsequent decision making. Further study is needed concerning changes in achievement, attrition, and attitudes; and the subtle impact of competency programs on minorities. A copy of the interview protocol is appended. (TJH)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Administrator Attitudes, Case Studies, College Entrance Examinations, Cutting Scores, Decision Making, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Graduation Requirements, High School Students, High Schools, Minimum Competency Testing, Standard Setting (Scoring), Teacher Certification
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.; Arizona State Univ., Tempe.; California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.; Colorado Univ., Boulder.; National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, IL.