ERIC Number: ED430009
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Assessment of Student Achievement: The Hundred Years War.
Jones, Lyle V.
The use of achievement tests for high-stakes decision making is discussed, and some comments are made about Ralph Tyler's contributions to educational assessment and what has resulted from them. The assessment war was raging more than 100 years ago, as historical records of testing student achievement demonstrate. Ralph Tyler, in the 1960s, did his best to bring about a truce in the assessment war by inventing the term "assessment" and suggesting that the focus be on the educational attainments of large numbers of people. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) advocated by Tyler called for the assessment of a sample of students, each of whom took only a fraction of the exercises, and none of whom received an individual score. Over the past 30 years these objectives have just barely survived. Among other changes, scores are imputed for each child, and these are averaged for any specific subgroup. Many changes in the NAEP have been supported by psychometric considerations, but some have compromised Tyler's vision by supporting pressures for reported scores for school districts, schools, classrooms, and individual students. Many of the problems evident as testing stakes become higher are identified. It is shortsighted to accept test scores as the ultimate criterion of the benefits of education, and more appropriate criteria must be developed. Some attachments illustrate historical controversy over assessment. (Contains four references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress