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ERIC Number: EJ1020101
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
Validity for What Purpose?
Shepard, Lorrie A.
Teachers College Record, v115 n9 2013
Background/Context: The evolution of validity understandings from mid-century to now has emphasized that test validity depends on test purpose--adding consequence considerations to issues of interpretation and evidentiary warrants. Purpose: To consider the tensions created by multiple purposes for assessment and sketch briefly how we got to where we are; furthermore, to address two critically important purposes: the accountability purpose versus the learning purpose for assessment. Research Design: This is an analytic, closing commentary to this special section. Conclusions: When a test is used as an educational reform, the theory of action behind the reform should be made explicit and that theory or series of claims and assumptions is what should be examined in the validity evaluation. As to the prospect of improving the teaching profession by the use of value-added methods, I believe that this is an overly ambitious use of a potentially useful statistical tool. As these systems are being implemented, we can and should conduct validity studies designed to detect plausible shortcomings and side effects as well as intended outcomes.
Teachers College, Columbia University. P.O. Box 103, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A