ERIC Number: ED342798
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Strategies for Statewide Student Assessment. Policy Briefs, Number 17.
Traditional standardized tests of basic skills are no longer considered meaningful by many leading authorities in educational measurement. Alternative approaches are not yet fully developed, although many efforts are being made. This paper explores the issues surrounding student assessment in the context of existing and evolving state practices, which frequently combine high-stakes evaluations with traditional multiple-choice norm-referenced examinations and negatively affect instructional quality. A new generation of alternative strategies for student evaluation is being designed to measure student performance in situations that bear an authentic relationship to real-world tasks. Authentic assessment is criterion-referenced and performance-based. It has intrinsic validity and a holistic approach. Because authentic assessments are typically much more difficult to score than traditional tests, they are expensive. The psychometric foundations of authentic assessments are still not fully developed. Vermont, Michigan, and Kentucky are leaders in the effort to use authentic assessment for statewide testing programs. The fact that many problems surround the changing nature of student assessment means that caution must be exercised in using assessment as a tool of educational reform. (SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Alternative Assessment, Basic Skills, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Holistic Evaluation, Performance Based Assessment, Psychometrics, Scoring, Standardized Tests, State Programs, Student Evaluation, Test Use, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.