ERIC Number: ED500440
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun-5
Reference Count: N/A
An Alignment Analysis of Washington State's College Readiness Mathematics Standards with Various Local Placement Tests
For the past two years, Achieve, Inc. has worked with the Transition Mathematics Project (TMP), a collaborative project of K-12 schools, community and technical colleges, and baccalaureate institutions within the state of Washington, as it developed mathematics standards that "define the core knowledge and skills expected of students entering college-level mathematics courses and courses with quantitative components." As part of its work with the TMP, Achieve was asked to assess the alignment between a sample of college placement tests used by Washington's state postsecondary institutions and the College Readiness Mathematics Standards (CRMS) recently completed by the TMP. Three sets of placement tests were submitted for alignment analysis. The four-year institutions--Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University, the Washington State University System, and the University of Washington--submitted two placement tests, the Intermediate Mathematics Placement Test (IMPT) and the Advanced Mathematics Placement Test (AMPT). Big Bend Community College submitted two levels of their mathematics placement test, Form 1A and Form 2A. Whatcom Community College submitted four mathematics placement tests: Basic Mathematics, Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Pre-Calculus. A review team comprised of two Achieve consultants confirmed the mapping of the items for each test, took each test, and then rated each item against the component or learning indicator to which it was mapped using four criteria--"Content Centrality," "Performance Centrality," "Source of Challenge," and "Level of Demand." Achieve's major findings from this analysis are as follows: The CRMS developed by the TMP partnership involving K-12 educators, postsecondary educators, and the business community suggest a broader and richer view of what is needed for future success in postsecondary mathematics than is defined in the placement tests used to place studentsinto entry-level college mathematics courses. Overall, the placement tests examined as part of this study do an insufficient job of assessing the CRMS developed by the TMP. Some components and learning indicators in the CRMS are written in ways that made it difficult to tell whether test items are entirely consistent with the articulated expectations. Appended to this report are: (1) Alignment Analysis for Big Bend Community College; (2) Alignment Analysis for Washington Public Universities; (3) Alignment Analysis for Whatcom Community Colleges; and (4) Biographies of Achieve, Inc. staff and content experts.
Descriptors: College Mathematics, Test Items, Student Placement, Universities, Technical Institutes, Community Colleges, Elementary Secondary Education, Mathematics, Public Colleges, Multiple Choice Tests
Achieve, Inc. 1775 Eye Street NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-419-1540; Fax: 202-828-0911; Web site: http://www.achieve.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: Achieve, Inc., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Washington