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ERIC Number: ED478200
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-21
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Rise and Fall of a Standards Based Spelling Assessment: Did Spelling Improve or Is it Just Another Case of Teaching to the Test?
Fenton, Ray; Stofflet, Fred; Straugh, Tom
This paper reports the creation, implementation, and discontinuation of a standards based spelling assessment program in Anchorage, Alaska. The program was initiated by the Anchorage school board as part of establishing district-wide performance goals for students in 1998-1999. Spelling was singled out for attention because of national discussions about spelling standards. After some discussion, the school board mandate was translated into the development of grade level lists of words that all students were expected to know and a set of related spelling tests. Test forms were developed that generally had split-half test reliabilities of 0.6 to 0.8, with fairly stable correlations with the district's standardized tests. The state of Alaska began to move toward a high stakes standards-based system, and arguments for the integration of spelling tests and writing tests were given new force by the impending implementation of the state tests. The Anchorage school board then made the high frequency word lists and the Anchorage spelling tests optional, and spelling goals were set aside in favor of goals that were more specific to increased performances on the Alaska state assessments. The Anchorage system was successful, but it was overcome by events. This paper shows that a standards-based system with assessment built in can improve student spelling performance over a short period of time. (Contains 12 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska