ERIC Number: ED488711
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Alignment, High Stakes, and the Inflation of Test Scores. CSE Report 655
National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
There are many reasons to align tests with curricular standards, but this alignment is not sufficient to protect against score inflation. This report explains the relationship between alignment and score inflation by clarifying what is meant by inappropriate test preparation. It provides a concrete, hypothetical example that illustrates a process by which scores become inflated and follows this with more complete discussion of the mechanisms of score inflation and their link to teachers' responses to high-stakes testing. Policymakers embarking on an effort to create a more effective system less prone to the drawbacks of simple test-based accountability cannot rely solely on alignment and should consider several additional steps: redesigning external tests in other ways to minimize inflation, setting attainable performance targets, relying on multiple measures, and reestablishing a role for professional judgment. Developing more effective alternatives will take us beyond what is well established and will require innovation, experimentation, and rigorous evaluation.
Descriptors: Teacher Attitudes, High Stakes Tests, Accountability, Scores, Test Construction, State Standards, Educational Policy, Evaluation Methods, Student Evaluation, Testing Problems
Center for the Study of Evaluation (CSE)/National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), 300 Charles E. Young Drive North, GSE&IS Bldg., 3rd Flr./Mailbox 951522, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522. Tel: 310-206-1532.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.