ERIC Number: ED458288
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Alignment of Standards and Assessments as an Accountability Criterion. ERIC Digest.
La Marca, Paul M.
This digest provides an overview of the concept of alignment and the role it plays in assessment and accountability systems. It also discusses methodological issues affecting the study of alignment and explores the relationship between alignment and test score interpretation. Alignment refers to the degree of match between test content and subject area content identified through state academic standards. It is highly unlikely that a single test can achieve a desirable degree of match, and this fact provides the rationale for using multiple accountability measures and points to the need for studying the degree of match at the test level and the system level. The two overarching dimensions of alignment are content match and depth match. Alignment can best be achieved through sound standards and assessment development activities. The analysis of alignment requires a systematic review of standards and a systematic review of test items/tasks. Alignment is not only a methodological requirement, but also an ethical requirement, as it would be a disservice to students and schools to judge academic achievement based on a poorly aligned system of assessment. The systematic study of alignment is time consuming and can be costly, but the benefits outweigh the costs. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Educational Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, Scores, State Standards, Test Construction, Test Interpretation
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, 1129 Shriver Laboratory, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 800-464-3742 (Toll Free); Web site: http://ericae.net.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, College Park, MD.