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  • 1. Chapter 6 Assessment of Educational Ability: Survey Battery, Diagnostic, Readiness, and Cognitive Ability Tests
  • 2. Defining Assessment of Educational Ability
    • Purposes of:
      • To determine how well a student is learning
      • To assess class, grades, schools, school systems, or states
      • To detect learning problems
      • To identify giftedness
      • To see if a child is ready to move to the next grade level
      • To assess teacher effectiveness
      • For placement in college, grad or professional schools
      • To determine mastery of knowledge for professional advanced (e.g., credentialing exams)
  • 3. Tests of Educational Ability
    • Educational Ability: Survey Batter, Diagnostic, Readiness, and Cognitive Ability
  • 4. Defining Tests of Educational Ability
    • Survey Battery Tests : Measure broad content areas. Often used to assess progress in school
    • Diagnostic Tests: Assess problem areas of learning (e.g., learning disabilities)
    • Readiness Tests: Measure readiness for moving ahead in school. Often readiness to enter First grade
    • Cognitive Abilities Tests: Often based on what has learned in school. Measure broad range of cognitive ability. Useful in making predictions (e.g., success in school or in college)
  • 5. Survey Battery Achievement Testing
    • Increasingly important as the result of:
      • No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act mandated by the Federal government
      • NCLB: states must show that “adequate yearly progress” is being made toward all students achieving at state-specified academic standards
      • States have to identify a test to show that this is happening
      • See Box 6.1, p. 112
  • 6. Survey Battery Achievement Testing
    • Helpful in following ways:
      • Can help a student, his or her parents, and his or her teachers, identify strengths and weaknesses
      • Classroom, school, or school system profile reports, helps teachers, principals, administrators, and the public see how students are doing at all these levels
      • Generally used to show success toward “Adequate Yearly Progress”
  • 7. Use of Survey Battery Testing
    • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
      • Not used to show progress of NCLB
      • Is used to compare states to one another
      • Called “The National Report Card”
      • All states required to participate every two years on math and reading
      • Sometimes also take other subjects (not mandatory)
      • Occurs at 4 th and 8 th grade levels
      • See Table 6.1, p. 114
  • 8. Types of Survey Battery Tests
    • Stanford Achievement Test (SAT10)
      • Dates back to 1923
      • Offers Individual Profile Sheets, Class Grouping Sheets, Grade Grouping Sheets, and School System Grouping Sheets
        • See Figures 6.2 and 6.3 (pp. 113, 116)
      • Most sub-tests in the mid .80s to low .90s using KR-20 internal consistency estimates
      • Reliability estimates fell for the open-ended sections to mid .50 through the .80s
      • Sound content, criterion, and construct validity
  • 9. Types of Survey Battery Tests
    • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
      • Dates back to 1935
      • Geared for grades K through 8
      • Sub-tests depending on the grade level: language, reading, vocabulary, listening, word analysis, math, social studies, science and sources of information (e.g., uses of maps, dictionaries, etc.)
      • Evidence of content validity
      • Reliability: middle .80s to low .90s
      • Correlates well with CogAT
  • 10. Types of Survey Battery Tests
    • Metropolitan Achievement Test
      • First published in 1930s
      • K-12 for a broad range of subjects such as reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies
      • Multiple choice questions and open-ended items, which are scored a 0 to 3
      • Some criticism: data too heavily weighted for rural classrooms and under represents urban classrooms
      • Good reliability and validity
  • 11. Diagnostic Testing
    • Used to assess problems in learning
    • PL 94-142 and IDEIA have made these types of tests crucial
      • Laws assert that individuals (age 3 – 21) who are suspected of having a disability that interferes with learning has right to be tested at school system’s expense
      • Used in development of IEP
      • Students with a disability have the right to an education within the least restrictive environment .
  • 12. Types of Diagnostic Tests
    • Wide Range Achievement Test 4 (WRAT 4)
      • Screening test for learning problems.
      • Assesses: Basic reading, spelling, arithmetic skills, and sentence comprehension
      • Attempts to eliminate effects of comprehension
      • Individual is asked to:
        • “ Read” (pronounce) words
        • Spell words
        • Figure out math problems
        • Provide a missing word or words to simple sentences
  • 13. Types of Diagnostic Tests
    • Wide Range Achievement Test 4 (WRAT 4)
      • Spelling and Math can be given in group
      • Reading and Sentence Comprehension must be administered individually
      • For ages 5 – 75
      • Internal consistency reliability in .90s
      • Rationale for content validity and evidence of construct and criterion-related validity
      • See Table 6.2, p. 118
  • 14. Types of Diagnostic Tests
    • Key Math Diagnostic Test (KeyMath-3)
      • Assesses student’s knowledge and understanding of basic mathematics and provides diagnostic information to teachers
      • K – 9 or (4.5 – 21 yrs based on cognitive ability)
      • Comprehensive test for learning problems in math
      • Takes 30-90 minutes to take
      • Reliability often in the mid .90s, and evidence of content and concurrent validity
  • 15. Types of Diagnostic Tests
    • Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT)
      • Broad academic screening for children K – 12
      • Median reliability estimates: .94
      • Evidence of content, construct, and criterion-related validity
      • See Table 6.3, p. 121
    • Other Diagnostic Tests:
      • The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – Second Edition (WIAT-II)
      • Woodcock-Johnson (WJ III)
  • 16. Readiness Testing
    • Sometimes helpful in deciding whether a child is “ready” to move onto next level (usually kindergarten or first grade)
    • Some problems:
      • Children’s cognitive functioning changes rapidly at young ages
      • Cross-cultural biases exist in some of these tests
      • When English is not first language children will tend not to do as well on these tests
  • 17. Types of Diagnostic Tests
    • Kindergarten Readiness Test
      • Used to determine if a child is ready to begin kindergarten
      • Age 4-6
      • Covers Reasoning, Language, Auditory and Visual Attention, Numbers, Fine Motor Skills, and several other cognitive and sensory-perception areas.
      • Questionable reliability and validity
  • 18. Types of Readiness Tests
    • Metropolitan Readiness Test, sixth edition (MRT6)
      • Assesses beginning educational skills for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders
      • Level 1: Assesses: literacy development for preschoolers and beginning kindergarteners
      • Level 2: Assesses: reading and mathematics for k – beginning first graders
      • 80-100 minutes
      • Composite reliability estimates: .90s
      • Subtest reliability: .53 through .77
      • Some question its validity
  • 19. Types of Diagnostic Tests
    • Gesell School Readiness Test
      • Assesses personal and social skills, neurological and motor growth, language development, and adaptive behavior
      • Arnold Gesell spent years examining the normal development of children
      • As far as Gesell was concerned, “achievement” was more than how one scores on a reading or math test
      • Questionable Reliability and Validity
      • Read Box 6.2 (p. 123)
  • 20. Cognitive Ability Tests
    • Used to assess what an individual is capable of doing
    • Should not be confused with intelligence tests
    • Often look more like achievement tests—but measure broad content areas
    • Good for identifying students not succeeding in school due to learning disabilities, motivation, problems at home or school, self-esteem issues
  • 21. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT 8)
      • K – 12
      • Assesses abstract thinking and reasoning skills via verbal and non-verbal sections
      • Given in large group format, 60-75 minutes
      • Achievement/Ability Index (AAC): How students are doing compared to their potential
      • Content validity: “Each user must determine if the content fits the population they are testing”
      • Reliability high for composite scores, lower for subtests
      • See Figures 6.4 and 6.5 (pp. 125, 126)
  • 22. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • The Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT)
      • Constructed with two models of intelligence: Vernon’s hierarchy and Cattell’s fluid and crystallized abilities
      • Provides verbal, quantitative, nonverbal ability, and composite score
      • Scores: Standard age score with mean of 100, SD of 16; percentile ranks, and stanines
      • Good reliability estimates: .80s & .90s
      • Offers rationale for content validity but difficult to defend this type of test as it is used to measure future.
      • Good concurrent validity
      • See Box 6.3, p. 127
  • 23. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • College and Graduate School Admission (ACT)
      • Designed to assess educational development and ability to complete college level work
      • Most Popular
      • Four skill areas: English, math, reading, and science.
      • Scores range from 1 – 36, (M = 18, SD = 5) for all high school students
      • Mean for college bound students about 21
      • Composite score has reliability estimate of .96
      • Predictive validity: is .43 with first year GPA
      • See Box 6.4, p. 129
  • 24. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • College and Graduate School Admission (SAT)
      • Areas: reading, mathematics, and writing (multiple choice and essay)
      • Scores: 200 to 800
      • Can compare means to 1990 group whose mean was set at 500
      • Percentile score: compares examinees within past 3 yrs
      • Writing score: 1 and 6 by two or three evaluators
      • Reliability: low .90s
      • Math and verbal scores: .44 to .61 with college grades
  • 25. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • College and Graduate School Admission ( GRE General Test)
      • Three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing
      • Verbal and quantitative sections scores range: 200-800
      • Has floating mean and SD
      • Percentiles compare students who took the test in recent years
      • For analytical rating. Scores ranked from 0 to 6 by two or three evaluators (Mean has been 4.1, SD: 0.9)
      • Moderate reliability for predicting grades
      • Reliability for verbal and quantitative—low .90s, .72 for analytical writing
  • 26. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • College Admissions Tests (GRE Subject Tests)
      • Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; literature in English, mathematics; physics; and psychology.
      • Scores range between 200 and 990 with a floating SD and mean
      • Correlations with grad grades run between .33 and .47
  • 27. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • College Admissions Tests (Miller Analogy Test)
      • 120 analogies measure “measures your ability to recognize relationships between ideas, your fluency in the English language, and your general knowledge of the humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and social sciences”
      • Mixed results of predictive validity (one study, .27 with grad GPA)
  • 28. Types of Cognitive Ability Tests
    • College Admissions Test (LSAT)
      • Assesses: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning and a writing sample
      • Predictive validity estimates average at .33, and when combined with GPA, increase to .47
    • College Admissions Test (MCAT)
      • Assesses physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and a writing sample
      • Scores 1-15 (except for writing section)
      • Writing: J – T (higher the better)
      • Research seems to support some predictive validity, but more research needed
  • 29. The Role of Helpers in the Assessment of Educational Ability
    • School counselors, school psychologists, learning disabilities specialists, and school social workers are members of the school’s special education team
    • School psychologists and learning disability specialists are testing experts who assess for learning problems
    • Clinical and counseling psychologists do additional assessments or act as a second opinion to the school’s assessment person
    • School counselors often only testing expert permanently house in school. Can consult with teacher and disaggregate data to find students with learning problems
    • Licensed professionals often need to consult with schools about their clients
  • 30. Final Thoughts on Assessment of Educational Ability
    • Down side:
      • Teachers forced to teach to tests—not being allowed to be creative
      • Testing leads to labeling
      • Some tests (e.g., readiness tests and cognitive ability tests) are a mechanism for majority children to move ahead and keep minority children down
      • Testing causes competition and peer pressure
  • 31. Final Thoughts on Assessment of Educational Ability
    • Up side:
      • Tests allow us to identify children, classrooms, schools, and schools systems, which are performing poorly
      • Testing allows us to identify children with learning problems
      • Testing allows a child to be accurately placed in grade level
      • Testing helps children identify what they are good at and helps to identify weak areas they can focus upon
      • See Box 6.5, p. 133