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Assessment That Supports K-16 Alignment POLICY, POLITICS AND PRACTICE David T. Conley Director, Standards for Success Association of American Universities.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessment That Supports K-16 Alignment POLICY, POLITICS AND PRACTICE David T. Conley Director, Standards for Success Association of American Universities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessment That Supports K-16 Alignment POLICY, POLITICS AND PRACTICE David T. Conley Director, Standards for Success Association of American Universities Center for Educational Policy Research University of Oregon

2 2 The State Of Assessment Policy  Briefly describe any effort in your state to align state K-12 assessments with other systems, including community colleges, 4-year colleges, universities, world of work  Highlight the key impediment in your state to the success of any such alignment policy

3 3 Why Consider Aligned Assessments?  Enhanced state leadership in K-12 ed. policy  State standards and assessments have become tools for accountability (system, school, teacher, student) in addition to tools for higher academic achievement  The shift to accountability has not been accompanied by a concomitant increase in reasons to do well on assessments  Even high stakes assessments have little to motivate high school students to do well  Assessments aren’t well-suited to multiple purposes  Low-level high school competency tests are pitched to the 8th grade level of skill  High-level tests aren’t coordinated with work world or college admissions/placement

4 4 Why Consider Aligned Assessments: Limitations of Current Measures  GPA “compression”  Regardless of whether grade “inflation” exists, GPAs are becoming compressed toward higher end >E.g., Ziomek, R. L., & Svec, J. C. (1995). High School Grades and Achievement: Evidence of Grade Inflation, The College Board (forthcoming)  Variation in quality of academic courses  E.g., NAEP findings of differences in urban/rural performance  Inherent problems of class ranking schemes  Weighting, course difficulty, small differences in GPA resulting in large differences in rank; quality differences between high schools  Lack of connection to high school curriculum and “signaling” problems  Measures like SAT, GPA and class rank don’t make it clear to students what they need to do in high school to succeed in college >e.g., Bridge Project preliminary findings  Remediation rates suggest signaling problems >( Conditions of Education, 2000, National Center on Education Statistics)

5 5 Why Consider Assessment Alignment: Politically-Related Issues  Equity issues remain in turmoil  Will state assessments aid equity or will they further restrict access? Answer: It depends  State assessments could help identify those who outperform relative to their classmates or they could become a new barrier  If state tests measure the “taught curriculum,” they become an indicator of ability to learn what is taught and suggest those with potential to succeed  If all applicants are required to meet minimum “cut score” on state tests, no greater diversity will be achieved

6 6 Why Consider Assessment Alignment: Policy-Related Reasons  State education policies increasingly seek K-16 linkages  Academic content standards in essentially every state  State assessments systems with high stakes in 35 states  Assessments linked to graduation in 24 states  Assessments beginning to be aligned with college admission/ placement  Illinois, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts (?)

7 7 Why Is This A Current Policy Issue?  College admission is far more important and more competitive than ever before  Number of spaces at selective institutions are not increasing at anywhere the rate of increase among students who seek admission to these institutions  E.g., UC-Berkeley, UCLA processing 35,000+ applications  Real competition began accelerating 20 years ago  Access to economic rewards is controlled by access to bachelor’s degree to a much greater degree than ever  State assessments are becoming more “high stakes”  Traditional measures such as SAT-I are under sustained attack or challenge

8 8 What Are Current Practices?  State assessments not designed to connect beyond HS  Minimum competency tests  E.g., Indiana ISTEP GQE tied to grade 9 skill levels  State assessments with potential to connect with higher ed, work world  E.g., California Golden State Exams, New York Regents Exams  State end-of-course exams  E.g., Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, Texas, California  Teacher-based judgments  E.g, Wisconsin (CBA), Oregon (PASS—  Multi-measure assessment systems  Exam, performance task, work samples, writing samples  E.g., Oregon CIM, Connecticut CAPT, Massachusetts MCAS

9 9 Virginia End-of- Course Exam- 10th Grade Math Are State Assessments Useful for Postsecondary Education?

10 10 MCAS Tenth Grade Math Items Are State Assessments Useful for Postsecondary Education?

11 11 MCAS Tenth Grade Math Item Are State Assessments Useful for Postsecondary Education?

12 12 MCAS Tenth Grade Math English Are State Assessments Useful for Postsecondary Education?

13 13 Other Options  Direct measures of key skills such as student writing ability  One of the best ways to prepare for college success across disciplines  Something students can do in high school to prepare for college success  Direct linkages between state standards and assessments, university admission and placement  Universities do not favor this because they do not want to lose control over admissions process  Explicit statements of knowledge and skills needed for university success in language compatible with state academic content standards  Standards for Success pursues goal of defining key knowledge and skills for university success

14 14 Defining Key Knowledge and Skills For Postsecondary Success  State assessments have been developed without reference to key knowledge and skills for postsecondary success  Higher education continues to think largely in terms of course requirements, GPA, and SAT/ACT scores  Defining key knowledge and skills is a basic prerequisite to determining the fit between systems  These knowledge and skill statements line up with state academic content standards  Degree of alignment can be determined  Fit between what states are testing and what postsecondary ed expects may be excellent to non- existent

15 15 What Else Is Being Attempted?  Wisconsin competency-based admissions experiment  Students admitted via competency route did slightly better than comparable students admitted via traditional route  Oregon’s Proficiency-based Admission Standards System  Student work rated by trained scorers using common criteria showed pattern of proficiency different from grades and more highly correlated with results of state assessments than grades  First group of students admitted with any PASS proficiencies are now freshmen

16 16 Where Is State Policy Likely to Head?  It is almost a certainty that some states will seek to connect state K-12 assessments with college/ university admission  Has been introduced as an idea in North Carolina  Illinois will be having all students take ACT  Georgia pays for all students who want to take PSAT  MCAS (Massachusetts) being considered by some colleges as a placement tool  Many, perhaps most, universities view this as highly undesirable, but other levels of the postsecondary community may not react in the same fashion, thereby creating an entrée for such relationships to be tested  K-16 is a hot policy topic  Few are sure what it actually means, but many activities are being undertaken under this banner

17 17 Issues on the Horizon  A potential battle is brewing in most states between state assessments and postsecondary admissions and placement  Legislatures will tend to seek simple solutions  E.g., The “X-percent solution” in Texas, California, Florida  Elite universities in particular will resist imposed admissions criteria that force them to use state assessments  Any K-16 alignment that does not address admissions and placement will be highly limited in scope  Any solution that ignores key knowledge and skills for postsecondary success will be ultimately discredited if admitted students do not succeed in college

18 18 Logical Next Steps  State-level commission to examine articulation between state assessment system and key knowledge and skills for postsecondary success  Process for thoughtful revisions or adaptations of state assessment systems to ensure they are at least consistent with college preparation  Well-designed standards and assessment articulation with buy-in of postsecondary community as the ultimate goal

19 19 Examples of State Actions to Align K-16  Texas : Title: H.B Signed by governor 05/2001. Requires that records relating to student performance be coordinated and maintained in standardized, compatible formats that allow the exchange of information between K-12 and higher education and throughout student educational careers. School districts must ensure students enroll in courses for the recommended or advanced high school program. Permits but does not require the commissioner of education to participate in multi-state end-of-course test development, and requires the development of an end-of-course test for Algebra I.

20 20  Kentucky : Title: H.B. 17 Signed by governor 03/2001. Relates to education councils; defines "P-16 council" or "council of partners"; specifies that the Council on Postsecondary Education administer a competitive grant program to enable the establishment of local P-16 councils; a local P-16 council shall promote teacher preparation and professional development, the alignment of competency standards and the elimination of barriers that impede student transition from preschool through baccalaureate programs; requires an annual report from each P-16 council. Examples of State Actions to Align K-16

21 21  Florida H.B Signed by governor 06/2000 Creates the Florida Education Governance Reorganization Act of 2000; Creates a governance system that deals with K-20 education. The new board will oversee Florida's education system from Kindergarten to grad school.  Oregon S.B. 868 Signed by governor 07/99 Directs State Board of Higher Education and State Board of Education to meet as joint boards of education for the purpose of reaching joint policy determinations; authorizes use of moneys appropriated from General Fund for student aid or other incentives that encourage resource sharing. Examples of State Actions to Align K-16

22 22  Maryland H.B Signed by governor 04/2001. Creates the College Readiness Program and College Readiness Financial Aid Program for disadvantaged and capable public high school students in the state; requires high school students complete core college preparation courses starting in ; requires the State Department of Education and the K-16 Partnership to develop a program of those courses; requires the Department and the Maryland Higher Education Commission to develop placement tests and cutoff scores. Examples of State Actions to Align K-16

23 23 Examples of State Actions to Align K-16  Missouri K-16 Coalition The focus will be on grades 11 and 12 and the first two years of higher education. The coalition is charged with:  Promoting quality performance standards  Encouraging faculty agreements on content and expectations in the major disciplines, beginning with mathematics  Increasing public awareness of the importance of improved student performance  Supporting full articulation within and across educational sectors  Identifying strategies for enhanced performance based upon preparation and ability  Developing policy recommendations to be shared with the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, the State Board of Education, and the UM Board of Curators

24 24 For More Information…  Standards for Success   K (or P)-16 Policies  default.asp default.asp 


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