ERIC Number: ED357037
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Accountability and Alternative Assessment: Research and Development Issues.
Herman, Joan L.
The research evidence supporting current beliefs in testing is summarized, and critical qualities that good assessment should exemplify and the current state of the research knowledge on how to produce good assessment are reviewed. Research has demonstrated the difficulties of achieving meaningful improvement in schools and the shortcomings of using existing tests to drive such improvement. However, several current policy initiatives support continuing optimism about the power of good assessment. Good assessment is built on current theories of learning and cognition and is grounded in views of the skills and capacities that students will need for future success. Several alternative assessments are being proposed, linked by common threads in that students produce or do something, using complex thinking skills in real-world contexts. These new assessments pose research and development problems to ensure their quality, and expanded quality criteria must be applied. These criteria include: (1) consequences; (2) fairness; (3) transfer and generalizability; (4) content quality; (5) content coverage; (6) meaningfulness; and (7) cost and efficiency. Many issues, including those of scoring and comparison, remain to be solved, but alternative assessments offer great potential for educational improvement. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Accountability, Alternative Assessment, Cost Effectiveness, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Knowledge Level, Performance Based Assessment, Research and Development, Scoring, Student Evaluation, Test Use, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.
Note: Abridged version of a report in "Educational Leadership," 1992.