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ERIC Number: EJ898345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 35
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2719
The Controversy over the National Assessment Governing Board Standards
Reckase, Mark D.
Brookings Papers on Education Policy, p231-265 2001
This paper provides an analysis of the controversy surrounding the standard setting process conducted by ACT Inc. for the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). This process is the most thoroughly planned, carefully executed, exhaustively evaluated, completely documented, and most visible of any standard setting process of which the author is aware. Any process can be improved with experience and with continuing research and development. Better methods for setting standards likely will be created in the future. Until such developments occur, however, this process--called the achievement levels setting (ALS) process by NAGB--is the model for how standard setting should be done. In this paper, the author attempts to answer this question: If the standard setting process is of such high quality, why are the standards set by the process so controversial? The author first offers an overview of the ALS process and argues that both the process and the resulting standards are sound. He then discusses interpretation of standards-based National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports in the light of motivational context and test-curriculum match. Next, he summarizes criticisms of the standards, suggests reasons for those criticisms, and offers a rebuttal. He concludes that the process is "the most carefully developed, thoroughly researched, and frequently evaluated standard setting process that has been conducted to date." Comments by Michael J. Feuer and Edward H. Haertel are included. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table, and 42 notes.)
Brookings Institution Press. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-536-3600; Fax: 202-536-3623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress