Assessment Literacy

Scaled Scores and Performance Levels

For purposes of comparability and reporting, scaled scores must be computed that reflect student performance on commercial tests and state accountability tests. However, concerns about scaled scores not providing information about what students know and can do have been addressed by the use of performance level reporting. Based their scores, students are put into categories…

What does “balance” mean in a balanced assessment system?

“Balance” in a district assessment system means more than just using formative, interim, and summative assessment. It also means giving these components appropriate attention and doing them and using them well. And doing them well can pertain to coverage of curriculum standards and to balance of attention to foundational knowledge/skills and deeper learning, as well…

Focusing More on Learning and Less on Test Scores

Effective implementation of the multi-step instructional process of formative assessment shifts the focus of students to their own learning by making them more responsible for it and by using grading practices that encourage learning rather than inhibiting it. Administrators have important roles to play by supporting professional development in formative assessment, by improving school grading…

Unreasonable Expectations of State Assessments

Local 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,…

Scaled Scores and Performance Levels

For purposes of comparability and reporting, scaled scores must be computed that reflect student performance on commercial tests and state accountability tests. However, concerns about scaled scores not providing information about what students know and can do have been addressed by the use of performance level reporting. Based their scores, students are put into categories…

Under the Hood of Computer-Adaptive Testing

Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT) was first created to generate a total test scaled score (or estimate of ability) as efficiently as possible – that is, with as few items as possible administered in a very short time. Each item selected to be administered to a test taker is selected by the computer based on the test…

Measures of Student Academic Growth: More Problematic than Many Realize

A student’s test score is only meaningful in relation to something else – 1) information on the performance of a particular group of students, 2) some pre-established standard of performance, 3) a test score reflecting previous performance of the student, or 4) a prediction of performance based on previous testing. The last two of these,…

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