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ERIC Number: ED506602
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec-14
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Challenges in Assessing for Postsecondary Readiness
Mellard, Daryl F.; Anderson, Gretchen
National Commission on Adult Literacy (NJ1)
Adult secondary education learners approach the goal of college-level postsecondary education through three assessment gateways: (a) measures of adult education program learning gains, (b) a high-school equivalency exam, and (c) college placement tests. On the surface, the assessments in this sequence might appear to work in concert and point to the same goal. However, although not at cross-purposes, the assessments are not well aligned with one another. Each assessment is specifically designed and reliably constructed to measure skills and traits particular to its purpose. Expecting that performance on one assessment will predict a similar level of performance on an assessment with a different purpose is inappropriate. Thus, for adult education programs, these multiple assessments are less an issue of one test being more reliable than another; they are a validity issue--that is, "do the test scores represent what is intended?" This Policy Brief examines the major assessments in use today to measure adult learning gains and determine student placements--e.g., BEST, CASAS, TABE, COMPASS, ASSET, and ACCUPLACER in terms of their use and issues of alignment. Special attention is given to the GED as it relates to postsecondary readiness, and to issues of alignment between the skills needed to pass the GED and those needed for placement in a non-remediated college curriculum. The authors offer several recommendations to resolve the problems and challenges identified. (Contains 8 tables.)
National Commission on Adult Literacy. Available from: Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy. 1221 Avenue of the Americas 46th Floor, New York, NY 10020. Tel: 212-512-2362; Fax: 212-512-2610; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Commission on Adult Literacy
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests; Test of Adult Basic Education