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ERIC Number: ED414312
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Sep-26
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Alaska Writing Assessment - 1997: Preliminary Technical Report.
Fenton, Ray; Straugh, Tom; Stofflet, Fred
Writing assessment began in Alaska in the 1970s, and the Alaska Writing Assessment (AWA) that was piloted in 1997 built on previous efforts. The 1997 AWA involved more than 20,000 students in grades 5, 7, and 10 from 43 school districts, and the mandatory assessment planned for 1998 will include approximately 28,000 students. This review of the 1997 AWA will help in planning for the 1998 AWA. The 1997 AWA computer file kept records on more than 16,000 students in the 3 grades (grades 5, 7, and 10). Students were scored using a six-trait analytical writing assessment scoring guide developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory that provides generic descriptions of characteristics of performances. Overall averages ranged from a low of 3.08 in "Organization" to a high of 3.28 in "Ideas and Content," and the overall average score across all areas was 3.22 with a standard deviation of 0.71. A review of the AWA for 1997 shows that the promise of a true statewide writing assessment was realized. The 1997 AWA extended a small-scale voluntary program to a program that demonstrated the capacity to conduct statewide writing assessment. The problems discovered were substantial, but can be solved. Additional human and financial support must be provided to organize and conduct an assessment that will collect papers from so many students and return valid scores. The quality of scoring must be improved to assure that scores are valid for the intended uses of rating the performance of individual students, providing feedback to teachers and schools, and allowing comparison of groups for local, state, and federal program evaluation. In addition, the process of developing prompts must be regularized so that prompts can be tested with Alaska students. The six-trait scoring guide is attached. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A