You apply for a part-time job to work your way through school. You learn that as part of the application process, you must take a test of word-processing speed and a personality test.
Mr.. and Mrs.. Johnson receive a call from their child’s third-grade teacher, who says he is concerned abou morgan’s performance on a reading test. He would like to refer Morgan for further testing to see whether Morgan has a leaning disability.
Mr.. and Mrs.. Esquirol tell you that their son is not eligible for special-education services because he scored “too high” on an intelligence test.
In response to publication of test results showing that u.s. students rank low in comparison to students in other industrialized nations, the u.s. secretary of education issues a call for higher educational standards for all students.
The superintendent of schools in a large urban district learns that only 40 percent of the students in her school district who took the state graduation test passed it.
your local school district asks for volunteers to serve on a task force to design a measure of technological literacy to use as a test with students.
Assessment – The process of collecting data for the purpose of making decisions about individuals and groups, and this decision-making role is the reason that assessment touches so many people’s lives. People react strongly when test scores are used to make interpersonal comparisons in which they or those they love look inferior.
Federal education policy contains specific expectations for states to develop high educational standards and to use tests to measure the extent to which students meet the standards. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act signed into law in 2002 calls for schools to assess and report on the progress of all students annually. The 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that schools and states report on the performance and progress of all students with disabilities.
Testing – Consists of administering a particular set of questions to an individual or group of individuals to obtain a score. The score is the end product of testing. Testing may be part of the larger process known as assessment; however, testing and assessment are not synonymous. Assessment in educational settings is a multifacted process that involves far more than just administering a test. High quality assessment procedures take into consideration the fact that anyone’s performance on any task is influenced by (1) the demands of the task itself, (2) the history and characteristics the individual brings to the task, and (3) the factors inherent in the context in which the assessment is carried out.
When we assess students, we measure their competence. Specifically, we measure their progress toward attaining those competencies their schools or parents want them to master. In schools, we are concerned about competence in three domains in which teachers provide interventions: academic, behavioral (including social), and physical. Historically in special and remedial education, and now increasingly in general education settings, the focus of assessment has been on measuring student progress toward instructional goals or outcomes and on diagnosing the need for special programs and related services. Figure 1.1. shows the 13 kinds of decisions that use assessment information and the three domains in which these decisions are made. Note that the 13 kinds of decisions are organized into 4 major types: a) pre-referral classroom decisions b) entitlement decisions, c) post-entitlement classroom decisions d) accountability/outcomes decisions