ERIC Number: ED465073
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
High-Stakes Testing: Implications for Career and Technical Education. The Highlight Zone: Research @ Work.
Austin, James T.; Mahlman, Robert A.
The topic of high-stakes testing (HST) is important because HST has direct and indirect effects on career-technical education (CTE) programs and timely because HST increasingly enters public discussion and has produced a large body of research and practice that generalizes to CTE. A review of HST has identified two persisting dilemmas: policy and public expectations of testing exceeding tests' technical capacities and tension between testing to increase fairness and testing to classify. Applicable strategies to provide validity for HST are reliability estimation of scores used to make decisions, expert judgements of item linkage to curricula, studies of the predictive power of HST scores, and studies of consequences. Two opposing perspectives on the accountability-testing theme are that use of HST for accountability is a positive application of data-driven management to education and that the consequences of HST are negative. Descriptions of HST systems in Kentucky, Texas, and Massachusetts indicate different ways to accomplish HST; use of advisory panels to represent stakeholders' viewpoints; and continuous change. Findings of an e-mail survey of state CTE directors suggest ways to expand assessment modalities--computer delivery of assessments and authentic assessments or multimodal assessments that include high- and low-stakes components. Implications are that the CTE community needs awareness of HST; tests should be used responsibly; and a useful database system should be developed. (Contains 76 references and a list of 8 Internet sites.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Accountability, Adult Education, Educational Research, High Stakes Tests, Postsecondary Education, Secondary Education, Standardized Tests, State Programs, Student Evaluation, Test Interpretation, Test Use, Test Validity, Testing Programs, Vocational Education
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Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education, Columbus, OH.