ERIC Number: EJ1055839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 16
Involving Diverse Communities of Practice to Minimize Unintended Consequences of Test-Based Accountability Systems
Behizadeh, Nadia; Engelhard, George, Jr.
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, v13 n1 p26-30 2015
In his focus article, Koretz (this issue) argues that accountability has become the primary function of large-scale testing in the United States. He then points out that tests being used for accountability purposes are flawed and that the high-stakes nature of these tests creates a context that encourages score inflation. Koretz is concerned about what he calls "behavioral responses to testing that might threaten validity, in particular, instructional responses such as inappropriate narrowing of instruction or coaching students to capitalize on incidental attributes of items" (p. 3). Based on this contention, he suggests that current methods of designing, linking, and validating high-stakes assessments must be modified to prevent negative consequences. Specifically, Koretz proposes creating tests that are less predictable and, thus, less likely to encourage narrowing of instruction and coaching. In this article, Nadia Behizadeh and George Engelhard, Jr. agree with Koretz that assessment and policy contexts are both key factors in the consequential validity of scores. From a polemical point of view, there is no argument with his position: Educational policymakers and all stakeholders should prefer accurate test scores to inflated ones. They state here that even though they agree that modifications in assessment systems should occur, they are less sanguine about the particular approaches suggested by Koretz.
Descriptors: Communities of Practice, High Stakes Tests, Testing, Test Validity, Test Items, Test Construction, Test Coaching, Teaching Methods, Educational Policy, Student Evaluation, Scores, Stakeholders
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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