Overheads for Unit 1--Chapter 1 (Educational Testing: Context, Issues, and Trends)


OH 1
Why Learn About Externally-Mandated Tests?



Attract policy makers as reform tool

Will affect your life as a teacher


OH 2
Earlier Waves of Test-Based Educational Reform

Title I (TIERS)

Minimum Competency Tests

Nation at Risk (and other major reports)


OH 3
Recent Wave of "Standards-Based" Reform (1990s)

Differs because:

Established both content and performance standards

Emphasizes performance-based assessment

    1. WYTIWYG
    2. You don’t get what you don’t assess
    3. Make tests worth teaching to

High-stakes accountability mechanisms

Includes all students


OH 4
Growing Role of Federal Government in Testing

NAEP (1969+)


Various presidential initiatives


OH 5
Public Concern over Testing

Active public involvement

Some concern that too much testing

Debates over social consequences


OH 6
Social Consequences I: Nature and Quality of Tests


Responses to complaints


OH 7
Social Consequences II: Effects of Testing on Students




Self-fulfilling prophecies

Overall lesson


OH 8
Social Consequences III: Racial and Gender Fairness

Definitions of test "fairness" often differ

  1. "absence of bias"—same score predicts the same thing, regardless of race
  2. "procedural fairness"—testing conditions provide equal opportunity for all to show what they know (e.g., comparable grading standards)
  3. "opportunity to learn"—all students had the same opportunity to learn the material being tested
  4. "equality of results"—all races get the same average score

"Proper" definition depends on your purposes

Distinction between test bias and unfair test use

  1. Test bias = flaw in the test (e.g., content that is unfamiliar or demeaning to some groups)
  2. Unfair test use = unfair use of an unbiased test (e.g., do we use the same or different score cutoffs for different racial groups? Should new tests be added that favor minorities or women, e.g., SAT writing test?)