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ERIC Number: ED543072
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
State Assessment Program Item Banks: Model Language for Request for Proposals (RFP) and Contracts
Swanson, Leonard C.
Council of Chief State School Officers
This document provides recommendations for request for proposal (RFP) and contract language that state education agencies can use to specify their requirements for access to test item banks. An item bank is a repository for test items and data about those items. Item banks are used by state agency staff to view items and associated data; to evaluate items; to search the database of items; to inventory the item bank, evaluate pool sufficiency, and project future item development needs; to view statistical results; to help manage the flow of test development work; and to collaborate with the test development contractor on forms construction. "The goal of this document is to help state education agencies develop appropriate language for inclusion in RFPs and contracts, language that assures state access to these critical functions during the contract period and ensures a smooth turnover of the item bank at the end of the contract to the state agency and/or a subsequent contractor." This document is based on the assumption that an agency does not wish to retain its existing item banking system (if any), but rather to acquire a new one as part of the contract. In this case any existing state items must be transferred by the vendor into the new item bank. If, on the other hand, the agency already has an item banking system and wishes to continue to use it for new item development, different RFP/contract language will be needed to describe that system and the state's expectations. Some of the recommendations in this paper may be useful in helping to describe such a situation, but it is not the intent of this document to fully address the continued use of an existing item banking system. The recommendations are divided into five categories; the first four cover each of the major topics that might be included in the item banking section of a typical RFP and contract. The fifth is a special category devoted to emerging developments in computer-based testing and the use of new or different item types. These emerging developments pose special challenges for item banking systems, specifically in storing and retrieving new kinds of information about innovative items and/or testing accommodations. The topics in this category span and incorporate by reference the four areas covered in the previous categories. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Council of Chief State School Officers. One Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-336-7016; Fax: 202-408-8072; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Chief State School Officers