Unreasonable Expectations of State Assessments

Student Taking a TestLocal educators, parents, and others generally want more information on student performance from their state assessments than those programs give them. This is not surprising given the high stakes now associated with state assessment results. Furthermore, current and previous federal laws have required that reports of individual student test performance be diagnostic. For several reasons, end-of-year summative state tests cannot and should not be diagnostic, providing information teachers can use immediately. Better understanding of the components of a balanced assessment system would lead to the proper use of different tests for different purposes. State summative assessments should be used for the evaluation of school instructional programs and yield information that can inform program improvement. For this purpose, immediate turnaround of results and individual student diagnoses are not necessary.
 

“Expectations of State Assessments: More Information from Shorter Tests,” by Stuart Kahl

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