ERIC Number: EJ810834
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep-17
Reference Count: 0
Test Industry Split over "Formative" Assessment
Cech, Scott J.
Education Week, v28 n4 p1, 17 Sep 2008
There's a war of sorts going on within the normally staid assessment industry, and it's a war over the definition of a type of assessment that many educators understand in only a sketchy fashion. Formative assessments, also known as "classroom assessments," are in some ways easier to define by what they are not. They're not like the long, year-end, state-administered, standardized, No Child Left Behind Act-required exams that testing professionals call "summative." Nor are they like the shorter, middle-of-the-year assessments referred to as "benchmark" or "interim" assessments. Other experts acknowledge that the lack of widespread understanding about the nature of formative assessment makes the term vulnerable to appropriation, but don't necessarily agree that testing companies are deliberately obscuring the distinction.
Descriptors: Formative Evaluation, Testing, Evaluation Problems, Testing Problems, Test Construction, Definitions, Pragmatics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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