ERIC Number: ED423306
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-9
Reference Count: N/A
Lessons Learned from a Tryout of Spanish and English Versions of a State Assessment.
Stansfield, Charles W.; Kahl, Stuart R.
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is the new Massachusetts state assessment program that is being implemented in response to state education reform legislation. The paper describes the early efforts of the state Department of Education (MDOE), its prime contractor for development of the MCAS (Advanced Systems in Measurement and Evaluation (ASME)), and its subcontractor (Second Language Testing, Inc. (SLTI)) in developing the Spanish language version of the MCAS. The paper documents the procedures followed, examines the data collected, and reports informally on what has been learned from the experience. To begin with, since the examinees came from different Hispanic backgrounds, it was decided to use standard Spanish in the examination with certain dialectical variants of words as a gloss in brackets as needed. The items in the 1997 Spanish tryout were distributed across many English forms, so that no one English form corresponded to the Spanish form. After translation of the selected items, an iterative procedure of draft, review, and revision of the forward translation was used instead of back translation as a quality control procedure. Sixteen steps in the adaptation process are listed. Another issue was the format of the test booklets. It was decided to produce the Spanish version in a Spanish-only and a Spanish/English (on facing pages) version. After the Spanish test was administered, interviews were conducted with 97 students in grades 4, 8, and 10 at 19 schools. Seventeen teachers were interviewed after they administered the tests. Scoring was assessed and test items were analyzed. Although it is difficult to draw firm conclusions from the tryout data, the students who took it would not have been able to participate in the regular English test, and so received a benefit from the tryout version. These early results indicate that the test will help address the assessment needs of students, teachers, and parents. An attachment contains the mathematics bilingual version for grade 4. (Contains eight tables and seven references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, English, Field Tests, High School Students, Hispanic Americans, Secondary School Teachers, Spanish, State Legislation, Test Construction, Test Format, Test Items, Testing Programs, Translation
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System