ERIC Number: ED454251
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
The Role of Policy Assumptions in Validating High-stakes Testing Programs.
L. Cronbach has made the point that for validity arguments to be convincing to diverse audiences, they need to be based on assumptions that are credible to these audiences. The interpretations and uses of high stakes test scores rely on a number of policy assumptions about what should be taught in schools, and more specifically, about the content standards and performance standards that should be applied to students and schools. For example, a high school graduation test can be developed as a test of minimal competence for the world of work or as a measure of proficiency in the skills needed in college. The assumptions built into the assessment need to be subjected to scrutiny and criticism if a strong case is to be made for the validity of the proposed interpretation. Stakeholder views are a critical part of the evaluation of the policy assumptions implicit in any testing program. The point is made that much of the current practice in the validation of high stakes testing programs, including high school graduation tests, is seriously flawed because only a part of the interpretive argument is evaluated. (Contains 1 table and 42 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).