ERIC Number: EJ1055843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 4
Testing for Accountability: A Balancing Act That Challenges Current Testing Practices and Theories
Brennan, Robert L.
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, v13 n1 p35-38 2015
Koretz, in his article published in this issue, provides compelling arguments that the high stakes currently associated with accountability testing lead to behavioral changes in students, teachers, and other stakeholders that often have negative consequences, such as inflated scores. Koretz goes on to argue that these negative consequences require a reconsideration of the design, linking, and validation procedures that are most prevalent in current test-based accountability (TBA) systems. Koretz states many times that his intent in writing his paper was to spur debate and foster a deeper consideration of current approaches to TBA systems. In that spirit, Robert Brennan writes here briefly to address two broad issues. First, the design, construction, and maintenance of TBA systems requires a balancing of numerous practical and psychometric issues. This balancing act is a necessary but potentially contentious reality, and Brennan believes that transparency is imperative in maintaining this balancing act and its consequences. Second, Brennan believes that current testing theory and practice have rather glaring weaknesses. Here, Brennan considers some of the realities of the present balancing act as it is imposed upon the current educational system. Brennan concludes that although TBA systems will not provide optimal answers to all relevant questions for all stakeholders, in his opinion that is not a reason to abandon use of TBA systems altogether.
Descriptors: Accountability, High Stakes Tests, Behavior Change, Student Behavior, Teacher Behavior, Students, Teachers, Stakeholders, Scores, Reliability, Validity, Psychometrics, Equated Scores, Test Items
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A