ERIC Number: ED349342
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
What's Happening with Educational Assessment?
Using tests to reform education is not a new concept. National and state education policies reflect confidence in the power of assessment to encourage school improvement. New understandings of the nature and context of student learning are shifting the movement away from traditional multiple-choice tests to alternative assessments. The emphasis is now on assessing higher-level thinking skills rather than lower-level skills and rote memory. Assessment research indicates that educational processes can be distorted when there is a lot of pressure on test results and high-stakes consequences follow the results. Narrowing of the curriculum and adjustment of the system to protect children are two undesirable consequences. Reviewing what is happening in assessment nationally reveals the following as key players: (1) America 2000; (2) the National Education Goals Panel; (3) the National Council on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing; (4) the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills; (5) the National Standards Project; (6) the National Assessment of Educational Progress; (7) the National Assessment Governing Board; (8) the National Council of Chief State School Officers; (9) the Student Assessment Consortium; and (10) test publishers. Research and development challenges in rethinking assessment include a lack of empirical research, psychometric issues, and issues of generalizability and validity. The real consequences of reform must be examined, with regard to equity issues and the problems of calibrating a national system of tests. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Tests, Alternative Assessment, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Multiple Choice Tests, Psychometrics, Research and Development, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Test Results, Test Use, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southeastern Regional Vision for Education (SERVE), Tallahassee, FL.; National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.