ERIC Number: ED462446
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan-1
Reference Count: N/A
High-Stakes & Assessment Innovation: A Negative Correlation? Research Report.
Ananda, Sri; Rabinowitz, Stanley
This paper makes the case that, as implemented so far, there has been an inverse correlation between innovation and accountability in statewide assessment systems. The higher the stakes attached to the assessment results, the more conservative the assessment methodology ultimately used. Case studies of two state assessment programs were carried out to show the increasing and often overwhelming demands for accountability and the inadequacy of existing assessment delivery infrastructure and methodology to accommodate innovation easily. The first case study is an examination of the Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS), a truly innovative multi-method assessment program that was designed to change classroom behavior. KIRIS featured open-response items, portfolios, performance events, integrated assessments, and non-cognitive indicators. After a decade, the KIRIS was transformed to the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS), a more conservative assessment system with more traditional components. The second case study was an exploration of the Assessments in Career Education (ACE) program in California. As happened in Kentucky, the existing ACE program has become narrower in scope and more traditional in its methodology than originally planned. Tracing the history of these programs leads to some lessons for other high-stakes programs. It may be that high-stakes assessment programs that are primarily performance-based are not yet viable at the state level. When there is widespread support for an innovative assessment, states will invest, but new content areas to be assessed need to fit into existing frameworks and delivery systems. More expertise at the local level is necessary to develop assessments to complement the statewide system, and innovations must be fully researched and developed before implementation. (SLD)
Descriptors: Accountability, Career Education, Case Studies, Delivery Systems, Educational Assessment, Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, High Stakes Tests, Political Influences, Student Evaluation, Test Use
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Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: WestEd, San Francisco, CA.