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Chapter Fifteen Understanding and Using Standardized Tests
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Overview Standardized tests Using standardized tests for accountability purposes: High-stakes testing Standardized testing and technology
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Characteristics of Standardized Tests Designed by people with specialized knowledge and training in test construction. Every person who takes the test responds to the same items under the same conditions. The answers are evaluated according to the same scoring standards. The scores are interpreted through comparison to the scores obtained from a group that took the same test under the same conditions or through comparison to a predetermined standard.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Criteria for Evaluating Standardized Tests Reliability –Stability in test performance Validity –Test accuracy –Content validity, predictive validity, construct validity Normed excellence –Norm group representation compared to the general population Examinee appropriateness –Appropriateness for a particular group of students
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Reliability Test-retest reliability –Administer the same test to the same people on two occasions and measure the extent to which the rankings change over time Alternate-form reliability –Administer two equivalent forms of a test to the same group of students at the same time and compare the results Split-half reliability –Administer a single test to a group of students, create two scores by dividing the test in half, and measure the extent to which the rankings change from one half to the other
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Validity Content validity evidence –How well a test’s items reflect a particular body of knowledge and skill Predictive validity evidence –How well a test predicts a student’s future behavior Construct validity evidence –How well a test measures some internal attribute of a person
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Types of Standardized Tests Achievement Tests –Reveal how much of a subject or skill has been learned Aptitude Tests –Reveal how much knowledge and skill a student could acquire with effective instruction
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Types of Achievement Tests Assesses one’s competence in selected basic skill areas; often taken to graduate. Competency test Single-subject test designed to identify specific strengths and weaknesses. Diagnostic test Assesses how much one has learned in multiple school subjects. Achievement battery Assesses how much one has learned in a particular school subject. Single-subject achievement test DescriptionType of Test
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Norm-Referenced Tests and Criterion-Referenced Tests Norm-referenced test –Test where one’s performance is evaluated with reference to a norming group. Criterion-referenced test –Test where one’s performance is evaluated with reference to some standard or criterion.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Interpreting Standardized Test Scores Grade equivalent scores –Interprets test performance in terms of grade level Percentile ranks –Score that indicates the percentage of students who are at or below a given student’s score Standard scores –Score that is expressed in terms of standard deviations Stanine score –Type of standard score that divides a population into nine groups.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved The Normal Probability Curve
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Psychology Applied to Teaching. Snowman/Biehler. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Relationship Among z Scores, T Scores, and Percentile Ranks
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Percentage of Cases in Each Stanine
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved What is High-Stakes Testing? High stakes testing is… –Using standardized test scores, either by themselves or in conjunction with other data, to determine whether students get promoted to the next grade or graduate from high school, whether teachers and administrators receive financial rewards or demotions, and whether school districts receive additional state funds or lose their accreditation.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Testing –Annual testing of students in grades 3-12 Adequate yearly progress (AYP) –States must demonstrate each year that an additional percentage of all students have reached the proficient level Reporting –States and school districts must issue report cards to parents and the general public that describe how every group of students has performed on the annual assessment
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Arguments in Support of High-Stakes Testing Programs Goal clarity Improved quality control Beneficial effects for teaching Beneficial effects for students
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Arguments Critical of High-Stakes Testing Programs Structural limitations Misinterpretation and misuse of test results A one-size-fits-all approach to motivation Undesirable side effects
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Research on the Effects of High-Stakes Testing Programs Effect on achievement Effect on motivation Effect on teachers Effect on instruction Effect on the drop-out rate
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Recommendations for State Testing Systems Each state should adopt only those content standards that represent the most important knowledge and skills that students need to learn A state’s content standards should clearly describe exactly what is being assessed so teachers can create lessons that directly address those standards Scores on a state assessment should be reported on a standard-by- standard basis for each student, school, and district States should provide school districts with additional assessment procedures to assess those standards that the required assessment does not cover States should monitor the curricula of school districts to ensure that instruction addresses all content standards and subjects, not just those assessed by the required state test
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Recommendations for State Testing Systems State assessments should be designed so that all students have an equal opportunity to demonstrate which of the state’s standards they have mastered All tests should satisfy the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing of the American Educational Research Association and similar test quality guidelines Teachers and principals should receive professional development training that helps them use test results to optimize children’s learning States should continually seek to improve the quality of their assessments
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Standardized Testing and Technology Using technology to prepare students for assessments Using technology to assess mastery of standards –e.g., American College Testing (ACT); Project Essay Grade (PEG) Computer adaptive testing (CAT) –Computers determine sequence and difficulty level of test items
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