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Volume 116, Number 11 (2014)

 
by Kurt Landgraf
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by Robert J. Mislevy
This article explains the idea of a neopragmatic postmodernist test theory and offers some thoughts about what changing notions concerning the nature of and meanings assigned to knowledge imply for educational assessment, present and future. Reprinted with permission from Transitions in Work and Learning: Implications for Assessment, 1997, by the National Academy of Sciences, Courtesy of the National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
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by Randy Elliot Bennett
This paper makes 13 claims about what educational assessment must do if it is to remain relevant in the face of rapid and potentially dramatic changes in education and society.
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by Eva L. Baker & Edmund W. Gordon
The article provides a rationale for the focus on assessment for learning, that is to assist and improve performance, as opposed to the prevalent approach of assessment of learning, focused on time constrained summative judgments. In the article, we also discuss the likely changes wrought by new and unstable knowledge, technology, and global competition, in the light of democratic educational approaches.
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by Kenneth J. Gergen & Ezekiel J. Dixon-Román
In the present offering we challenge the presumption that the educational testing of students provides objective information about such students. This presumption largely rests on an empiricist account of science. In light of mounting criticism, however, empiricist foundationalism has given way to a social epistemology. From this standpoint, empirical data are only objective for those who share assumptions and values that are themselves without foundations. Thus, the major questions to be raised about testing are not in terms of whether test results supply the truth about those who are evaluated, but concern the utility of the tests for the full range of stakeholders. Who gains and loses as a result of testing practices, and in what ways? In the present offering we focus in particular on a range of adverse consequences. We first note the neoliberalist and individualist ideologies carried by current testing practices. We then discuss the impact on societal well-being, including the fostering of social division and distrust, the creation of hierarchies of worth, and the diminution of pluralism. We turn then to the impact of testing on the educational system, including the sacrifice of curriculum and pedagogy for the production of higher test scores, and the diminution of teacher motivation and engagement. Finally, in terms of community, there is a disregard for local needs and values, a loss in student motivation, and an increase in family tensions. We complete the paper with a discussion of possible alternatives to current testing practices, and recommendations for future policies.
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by Joanna S. Gorin
This paper considers future educational assessment in terms of principles of evidential reasoning, focusing the discussion on the changes to the claims our assessments must support, the types of evidence needed to support these claims, and the statistical tools available to evaluate our evidence vis-ŕ-vis the claims. An expanded view of assessment is advanced in which assessments based on multiple evidence sources from contextually rich situated learning environments, including unconventional data regarding human competencies, improve our ability to make valid inferences and decisions all education stakeholders.
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by Herve Varenne
Assessments of what others have just done is an ongoing concern in everyday interaction. What we have learned about the working of these assessments might help us think through the consequences of the more formal assessments associated with teaching and learning in schools.
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by Andrew D Ho
This article provides a framework for functions and purposes of assessment in K–12 education and advances the notion of purpose drift: the tendency of assessment purposes to evolve and multiply over time. The author argues that validation activities should be more proactive and less reactive to purpose drift, to the extent that this drift is easy to predict.
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by Robert Calfee , Kathleen M. Wilson, Brian Flannery & Barbara A. Kapinus
This article presents a working model of the formative assessment process that we believe will be essential for effective implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Assessment for learning rather than testing of achievement is presented as a way of guiding teachers and students through the progressions needed to achieve college and career readiness.
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by Gregory K. W. K. Chung
This article discusses various levels of interaction data available in digital environments and the potential to derive systematic measures of students’ learning processes from such interaction data.
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by John T. Behrens & Kristen E. DiCerbo
The ability to capture data from a wide variety of digital activity should fundamentally change how assessment is approached. Moving from an item to an activity paradigm and from individual to social considerations, along with the integration of learning and assessment, have the potential to transform how we make inferences about students.
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by Edmund W. Gordon & Emily B. Campbell
This article is a piece of analytic and descriptive commentary based on the work of the Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment of Education, in which the authors advocate for greater attention to be given to the correlates of human performance in educational measurement.
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by James W. Pellegrino
This article summarizes major points about the transformation of educational assessment that emerged from the work of Gordon Commission and it presents recommendations to different stakeholders as to needed changes in policy, practice, and research and development.
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by Edward Haertel
Taken together, the Gordon Commission’s papers call for a radical rethinking of the ways educational assessment is used to support teaching and learning. Classroom assessment must be improved, but in addition, fundamental tensions between assessment for accountability and assessment for learning must be resolved.
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by Carl F. Kaestle
This essay expresses appreciation for the work of the Gordon Commission by a long-time friend and admirer of Professor Gordon. Professor Kaestle, who also served as a consultant to the commission, attempts to locate the work of the commission in the history of educational assessment and assess its potential for future policy reform.
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by Louis M. Gomez
This introduction is a brief reflection on the import of the Gordon Commission’s work to future considerations of assessment and learning.
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