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Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 1 Standardized Tests: What Are They? Why Use Them? What are they? –Tests administered under identical (as nearly as possible) conditions every time, no matter where or by whom. Why use them? –Designed to allow comparison between one child or group of children and another. –Often used to measure how well schools are teaching and also how well children are achieving. –To demonstrate to taxpayers that their money is indeed educating children.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 2 Three Major Types of Standardized Tests 1.Norm-Referenced Tests compare the performance of an individual to that of the group on which the test was standardized. 2.Criterion-Referenced Tests measure performance in terms of mastery of particular skills that the child is expected to have learned. 3.Diagnostic Tests are designed to lead to specific instructional plans and may sample many components of an area of achievement.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 3 Concepts & Terminology of Testing Statistical Concepts Validity –Content Validity –Criterion Validity –Construct Validity Reliability –Test-Retest Reliability –Internal Reliability Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) Test Scores Raw Score –The actual number of items correct on a test Derived Scores –Percentile Rank –Standard Scores (stanine and normal curve equivalent) –Grade and Age-equivalent scores
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 4 Concerns About Standardized Tests Risks of misinterpretation and lack of understanding on the part of the public exist with the reporting of any of the standardized test scores. Performance on particular assessments may drive the curriculum (because much of what is done in the classroom is directed toward nudging students to score better on the test). The effect of such testing on minority students.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 5 The State of the Profession: Local and State Assessments Keep reading and learning about standardized testing in your school system as well as in the nation. Look at test results of high school students also; these students are products of your elementary and middle school programs. Read professional journals, and visit web sites. Ask questions. Learn about the existing state of assessment in your community; then either support it if you agree with it or work for change if you do not.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 6 Standardized Measures: The Role of the Classroom Teacher To help students prepare (just a few examples): –Take the test yourself, and think about the strategies you used to determine the “correct” answers. –Observe students as they take tests, and make notes of various strategies you see them using. –Invite students to share ways to read and respond to an item. –With students, examine each possible response to each item, clarifying why it is or is not the best choice. –Replicate the testing conditions, and let students get used to working silently and independently, without asking questions, within time limits. –Teach students how to use answer sheets. –Stress that the goal is to get right answers, not to be creative or personal, even though this may be quite different from what you emphasize in your classroom.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 7 Standardized Measures: The Role of the Classroom Teacher Talk to families –Help families understand what the scores mean –Send letters Inform them of upcoming tests Send a later letter of explanation, with examples of what their child’s score means in terms of his or her performance in this school in this grade on this particular measure. Conduct family conferences
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 8 Family Conferences In a conference following the reporting of test results, teachers should try to do all of the following: 1.Give family members a chance to say how they feel about the child’s learning at this point. 2.Share work such as writing, reports, projects, checklists. 3.Give a report and review of the child’s performance on the standardized test and an interpretation of what the score means. Compare the child’s score to his or her previous scores (not to the rest of the class). 4.Encourage questions and welcome concerns. 5.Describe your reaction to the child’s test performance and how it matches (or fails to match) the child’s daily performance in the real world of the classroom. 6.Together with the family, draw up a plan to support continued growth.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. 5 | 9 Tests for Measuring Literacy Hundreds of formal tests are available, including: Group-Administered Tests –Most common tests used in schools –Have a variety of purposes: to assess progress in reading, to target students who may have problems, or to provide evidence regarding the success (or failure) of a program –Norm referenced Individually-Administered Tests –Often designed to yield diagnostic information –Can be either norm-referenced or criterion-referenced Testing to Accommodate Special Populations –Students in exceptional or special education –Title I students –Second-language learners
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