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Sources of Influence on the Problem of a Validity Evidence Gap for Education Achievement Tests


by Gabriel Della-Piana, Connie Kubo Della-Piana & Michael K. Gardner ó August 10, 2015

The authors build on previous scholarship describing signs that appropriate validity evidence for education achievement measures is either not gathered, not reported, or not accessible for independent review. The consequences are troubling for valid interpretation of test scores for evaluation of individuals, groups, or programs. Six potential sources of influence on the validity evidence gap for valid interpretation and use of test scores are explored: (a) the influence of demands on the test user for interpretation of test scores; (b) the challenges of professional standards in assigning responsibility for providing validity evidence and argument; (c) law and regulatory practices constraining validity evidence gathering; (d) technology constraints and opportunities on kinds of validity evidence gathered and accessible; and (e) effects of the new education industry on testing. The paper concludes with suggestions for developing case studies in responsible gathering of test validity evidence in the problematic contexts outlined, with the intent to promote dialogue on responding to the challenges of the influences on the validity evidence gap.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: August 10, 2015
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18064, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 7:16:29 PM

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About the Author
  • Gabriel Della-Piana
    University of Utah
    E-mail Author
    GABRIEL DELLA-PIANA is Professor Emeritus in Educational Psychology at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
  • Connie Kubo Della-Piana
    National Science Foundation
    E-mail Author
    CONNIE KUBO DELLA-PIANA is Program Director of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA.
  • Michael Gardner
    University of Utah
    E-mail Author
    MICHAEL K. GARDNER is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
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