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Essentials of Student Assessment: From Accountability to Instructional Aid


by Robert L. Linn - 1990

There is a growing consensus as to the need for revising instruction in assessment at the preservice and in-service levels. After discussing the mismatch between instructional priorities in measurement courses and the perceived needs of teachers, the author proposes seven general assessment topics that need more attention in teacher education.

There is a growing consensus as to the need for revising instruction in assessment at the preservice and in-service levels. After discussing the mismatch between instructional priorities in measurement courses and the perceived needs of teachers, Linn proposes seven general assessment topics that need more attention in teacher education.


I have been asked to address two basic questions: What should teachers of today and tomorrow know about measurement and evaluation in order to be effective teachers, and when and how should they learn this information? Since these questions are posed within the context of a reconsideration of foundational studies in teacher education, it should be noted that there is a difference between the question of what teachers need to know and the question of what should be included in foundational studies. Teachers need to know a great deal (e.g., subject matter content and pedagogy) that is not a part of traditional studies.

The fact that measurement and evaluation are sometimes included in foundational studies is, in part, a historical accident owing to their psychological roots. Much of what is included under the somewhat broader rubric of assessment, is more closely associated with technique than with foundations. In any event, the focus of this article will be on needed knowledge rather than on the inclusion or exclusion of students assessment issues in the foundational studies component of teacher education.

THE DOMAIN OF MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

The mention of measurement and evaluation most commonly brings about an immediate image of paper-and-pencil tests-particularly standardized, multiple-choice tests. This image is hardly surprising. It is consistent with a good deal of what is emphasized in traditional courses in educational measurement. More importantly, it is consistent with the type of measurement that has come to play an increasingly critical role in educational policy. For, as Petrie has noted, it is not "too much of an exaggeration to say that evaluation and testing have become the engine for implementing educational policy."(1)

The growth in externally mandated testing and the increased sanctions that have been attached to test scores have been extraordinary. The expansion of high-stakes testing in the pursuit of accountability and educational reform has increased the salience of testing for teachers and students. Given the role of standardized tests in educational policy, it is essential that teachers have a better understanding of the technology and its uses and abuses. However, it would be unfortunate indeed if the vision of measurement and evaluation were limited to the immediate image of standardized paper-and-pencil tests.

Assessment of student learning is a central part of teaching. Paper-and-pencil tests, both standardized and teacher made, can contribute to assessment. Compared with the informal assessments made by teachers every day on a minute-by-minute basis, however, the contribution of tests is quite modest. Oral questioning and informal observation are much more central to the assessments that teachers rely on to make instructional decisions, particularly at the elementary grade levels.(2)

Students spend more time taking teacher-constructed tests than standardized tests and when other student activities that are evaluated (e.g., worksheets, homework assignments, and responses to oral questions) are included it is evident that standardized testing represents only a small fraction of the total time that is devoted to assessment.(3) Furthermore, "surveys of teachers and students have consistently indicated that they believe the educational and psychological effects of classroom evaluation are generally substantially greater than the corresponding effects of standardized testing."(4) Clearly, limiting one's conception of student assessment to standardized tests or even to all types of paper-and-pencil tests is to narrow the domain far too much. Indeed, it risks missing the most important aspects of measurement and evaluation that are crucial to effective teaching. Thus, a broader conception of assessment is needed.

ASSESSMENT AND EFFECTIVE TEACHING


Given a broader conception, it is clear that student assessment is a critical aspect of effective teaching as it is envisioned by the Holmes Group.(5)Essential to that vision are "competent teachers empowered to make principled judgments and decisions on their students' behalf."(6) Principled judgments and instructional decisions require information about student learning, information that is obtained by a variety of approaches to student "Professional teachers," for example, are described as "skilled of children's learning needs."(7) They are expected to "interpret the under-standings students bring to and develop during lessons [and to] identify students' misconceptions, and question their surface responses that mask true learning."(8)

The view that teachers need to be skilled in assessing the learning needs of students is not new. A number of authors have emphasized the importance of assessment skills for effective teaching.(9) Darling-Hammond, for example, has argued that the diagnosis of student learning needs and the adaptation of instruction to those needs is an essential part of effective teaching.(10) Stiggens, Conklin, and Bridgeford claimed that all models of effective teaching require "that teachers base their instructional decisions on some knowledge of student characteristics."(11)I They acknowledge, however, that "assessment is unquestionably one of teachers' most complex and important tasks."(12)

Student assessment is important not only because of its value to teachers in making instructional decisions, but because of its more direct effects on students. Based on his recent review of the impact of classroom evaluation practices on students, Crooks identified a number of important ways in which assessment affects students. For example, "it guides their judgment of what is important to learn, affects their motivation and self-perceptions of competence, structures their approaches to and timing of personal study (e.g., spaced practice), consolidates learning, and affects the development of enduring learning strategies and skills."(13) The evidence reviewed by Crooks provides a compelling case for these varied effects of assessment on students.

Professional teachers with the characteristics envisioned by the Holmes Group and authors such as Darling-Hammond and Stiggens, Conklin, and Bridgeford clearly need to be adept at assessing student learning. Moreover, the importance of effective assessment practices to effective teaching is all the more critical because the effects on students summarized by Crooks can be either positive or negative. Exemplary instructional goals can too easily be undermined by assessment techniques that are inconsistent with the goals. It is clear, for example, that the use of normative grading can conflict with some of the goals of a cooperative learning program. It is also evident that classroom tests that stress recognition of numerous factual details will quickly undermine plans and efforts to encourage deep understanding of concepts and critical thinking.

Recognizing the importance of assessment and the need for teachers to be highly skilled in the area does not answer the questions about what a teacher needs to know about measurement and evaluation or when they should learn it. The descriptions of professional teachers and the recognition of the varied effects of assessment on students expand the image of measurement and evaluation in ways that will be useful in considering these questions, however. Teachers need to be able to interpret and evaluate standardized tests and results that are produced by externally imposed testing programs. They also need to be knowledgeable about a wide range of assessment techniques that they can use on a day-to-day basis in their classroom instruction. Improving the quality of classroom assessments can have a positive influence on the quality of learning.

CURRENT INSTRUCTION IN MEASUREMENT


To provide a context for considering what should be, it is useful to consider briefly what is. A recent survey of the 707 colleges that are members of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education found that with the exception of the areas of school counseling and special education, formal coursework in measurement is a required part of slightly less than half of the certification programs offered.(14) Consistent results were obtained in a smaller survey of professors in twenty-eight midwestern colleges, which found that while most (71 percent) of the colleges offered a separate course in measurement and evaluation, such a course is required for preservice teachers in only about half of the colleges.(15) Since an assessment course is a requirement for certification in only four states, it is hardly surprising that roughly half the college programs do not include such a requirement. Indeed, given the extensive list of requirements in many states, one might expect even fewer programs to include such a requirement when it is not mandated by the state.

Where a separate course is not required, instruction in measurement and evaluation is generally provided as part of another required course. Overall, "roughly half the students receive measurement and evaluation as a separate course and half receive this instruction within the context of another course."(16)

Gullickson asked a sample of 24 professors who teach measurement course to indicate the amount of emphasis they give to 67 topic areas on a five-point scale ranging from "very slight emphasis" to "very great emphasis." A sample of 360 teachers also rated the items with the same five-point scale in terms of the amount of emphasis they thought should be given to each topic. The 67 items were used to define 8 scales. Mean ratings on the 8 scales that were given by the two groups are plotted in Figure 1. The scales are arranged in descending order of the mean ratings of the emphasis that topics on the scale should be given according to the responses of the sample of teachers.(17)

Figure 1. Mean Ratings of Content Emphasis by Teachers and by Professord Teaching Courses in Educational Measurement

Note
FE: using test results for instructional planning and formative evaluation; SE: using test results for summative evaluation purposes; PE: preparing examinations; NT: using nontest assessment procedures; AS: administering and scoring tests; GA: general assessment information regarding selection and use of tests; ST: computing and interpreting statistical data; LI: legal issues, testing and the law. Based on Arlen R. Gullickson, "Teacher Education and Teacher Perceived Needs in Educational Measurement and Evaluation" Journal of Educational Measurement 23, no. 45 (1986): 347-54, Table 1.

As can be seen, only one of the six areas that teachers believe should be emphasized most is given relatively heavy emphasis according to the reports of the professors. Teachers believe that a good deal of attention should be given to the preparation of exams and professors indicate that this area is the second most heavily emphasized area in their courses. On the other hand, three of the four areas that teachers believe should be most emphasized are given relatively little emphasis by professors. Those three areas are (1) Using test results for instructional planning and formative evaluation, (2) using test results for summative evaluation purposes, and (3) employing nontest evaluation devices. In. contrast, the topic that professors emphasize most, comparing and interpreting statistical data, is judged to deserve relatively little emphasis by the teachers.

A comparison of the results reported by Gullickson with those obtained in a survey conducted by Goehring in the early 1970s suggests that teachers' views regarding priorities for instruction in measurement and evaluation have remained fairly stable.(18) Goehring asked teachers to rate a list of 116 competencies that were identified as candidates for inclusion in courses on educational testing and measurement in terms of their value to a classroom teacher. Assessment competencies that were most clearly linked to classroom practice (e.g., the identification of student strengths and weaknesses, effective use of oral questions, communicating to parents) were rated as critical for effective teaching. The competencies receiving the lowest ratings, on the other hand, generally involved the calculation and use of statistics. Based on his survey, Goehring recommended that courses should give major emphasis to "those teacher competencies concerned with the work of a teacher as this work affects directly the pupil and parent, and the construction, application, administration, and interpretation of classroom tests and other instruments of measurement and evaluation."(19)This recommendation seems just as pertinent today as it was when it was made in 1973.

The apparent mismatch between current instructional priorities in measurement courses and the perceived needs of teachers is consistent with the overemphasis that seems to be given to standardized tests and the related reliance on statistical results in comparison with the type of assessment that is stressed by the Holmes Group and others as being an essential part of effective teaching. Formative evaluation based on teacher-constructed tests, written assignments, oral questions, and informal observations plays a much more important role in the day-to-day instructional decisions that a teacher needs to make than do standardized tests, statistical estimates of reliability, items analysis statistics, or the characteristics of scale scores.(20) Thus it is not surprising that teachers give high ratings to formative evaluation and the use of nontest evaluation devices.

As Stiggins et al. and Gullickson and Hopkins have suggested, the mismatch between course content and perceived needs in the area of assessment may partially explain the fact that somewhat less than half of the teacher preparation programs require a course in measurement and that such a course is a requirement for certification in only four states. They also suggest that it is time to rethink the instructional program that is provided for teachers in the area of assessment.

NEEDED INSTRUCTION IN ASSESSMENT


The teacher ratings of the amount of emphasis that should be given to various content areas in measurement and evaluation that were obtained by Gullickson provide a reasonable starting place for identifying what teachers need to know.(21) As is shown in Figure 1, the six general content areas that teachers believe deserve the most emphasis in the order I will treat them are (I) the preparation of exams, (2) the use of nontest evaluation procedures, (3) the use of test results for instructional planning and formative evaluation, (4) the use of test results for summative evaluation, (5) the administration and scoring of tests, and (6) general assessment information regarding the selection and use of tests. The focus on "tests" in five of these six broad con-tent areas may reflect, in part, teacher perceptions of what is included in a course in measurement and evaluation. The focus also reflects the set of more specific topics that defined the items on Gullickson's questionnaire. Hence, it should not be assumed that tests should necessarily be as pervasive as is suggested by the list. Nonetheless, tests do provide a reasonable starting place.

1. Planning and Constructing Classroom Tests


Test preparation was the only content area that teachers identified as in need of emphasis and professors said they in fact emphasized in Gullickson's survey.(22) The fact that both groups judged this content area to be important is consistent with the belief that classroom tests have a major impact on students. There is ample evidence to support this belief. Tests provide signals to students about what teachers consider important to learn and thereby shape student learning.(23)

Information that is available regarding the characteristics and quality of classroom tests, while limited, suggests that considerable attention needs to be given to the improvement of classroom tests. Of particular concern is the frequent observation that "teacher-made tests tend to give greater emphasis to lower cognitive levels than the teachers' stated objectives would justify."(24) Such tests encourage the memorization of surface-level details at the expense of a deeper understanding of the subject matter. As Crooks has argued, "there is a need to make deep learning a central goal of education, and to foster development of this goal through the evaluation of students. This requires that we place emphasis on understanding, transfer of learning to untaught problems or situations, and other thinking skills, evaluating the development of these skills through tasks that clearly must involve more than recognition or recall."(25)

Although many observers would agree with Crooks's plea for greater emphasis on deep understanding, there are many obstacles to achieving this end in classroom tests and other evaluation activities. Under the best of circumstances, it is difficult to prepare tests and other approaches to evaluation that assess deep understanding. Such procedures are apt to be more time consuming to construct, and since they often require the use of constructed responses (e.g., short-answer problems, essay exams) and other types of authentic performances (e.g., laboratory exercises, term papers) rather than multiple-choice or other objective testing formats, they also require more teacher time in evaluating student responses.

In stressing higher-order thinking skills, it is important not to confuse those skills with difficulty of the content. This point was well made by the National Academy of Education (NAE) committee that reviewed the Alexander-James report.(26) The NAE committee provided the following caution.

It is all too easy to think of higher-order skills as involving only difficult subject matter as, for example, learning calculus. Yet one can memorize the formulas for derivatives just as easily as those for computing areas of various geometric shapes, while remaining equally confused about the overall goals of both activities. All subjects have a basic knowledge component that can be taught by drill and practice. This basic knowledge, while prerequisite to competence, is also distinct from the intellectual skills of gathering relevant information, evaluating evidence, weighing alternative courses of action, and articulating reasoned arguments.(27)

Assessments need to be designed that probe the latter types of skills regard- less of the content area or level of instruction. Materials and workshops provided by researchers at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory rep-resent one significant effort to help teachers improve their assessment procedures, in general, and their assessment of thinking skills, in particular.(28) The materials and workshops provide a framework for planning oral, paper-and-pencil, and performance forms of assessment that include five defined levels of thinking skills: recall, analysis, comparison, inference, and evaluation. The simple creation of a chart with three rows for the forms of assessment and five columns for the levels of thinking skills encourages the planning of assessments that do more than cover the "recall" row of the matrix. Good examples are provided of questions that require the higher-level skills of analysis, comparison, inference, and evaluation. Together with the practice provided by the workshop, the program has been found to have a positive impact on teacher attitudes toward and self-reports of use of procedures for assessing higher-order thinking skills.

Some of the needed skills in constructing measures that emphasize deep understanding can be developed in preservice courses. Good discussion of the art of test construction and the strengths and weaknesses of approaches ranging from simple true-false questions to essays can be found in a number of widely used textbooks.(29) To be more effective, however, these materials need to be integrated with both subject matter content and instruction in methods.

Although an introduction to these concepts and the development of rudimentary skills in constructing a wide range of classroom tests that will emphasize deep understanding should begin in preservice teacher education programs, the importance of the quality of the assessments to effective teaching and the difficulty of constructing assessments that do justice to the higher-level goals of instruction suggest that continuing attention is needed as part in-service instructional programs. Crooks summarizes the need as follows: "A more professional approach to evaluation would demand regular and thoughtful analysis by teachers of their personal evaluation practices, greater use of peer review procedures, and considerable attention to the establishment of more consistent progressions of expectations and criteria within and among educational institutions."(30)

2. The Use of Nontest Evaluation Procedures


Teachers recognize the need for better preparation in the use of a wide range of evaluation procedures other than traditional tests. However, as is shown in Figure 1, nontest evaluation procedures are given relatively little attention in measurement and evaluation courses. There is, as Gullickson and Hopkins have suggested, "a need for a shift toward greater emphasis on qualitative techniques.(31) The effective use of oral questioning and classroom observation techniques needs greater attention in preservice courses in measurement and evaluation and in in-service education and professional development.

Observational techniques and the use of ratings are considered in a number of textbooks designed to introduce prospective teachers to educational measurement. A useful addition to these traditional discussions is the notion of performance assessments that are designed specifically for the pup pose of assessing a student's "ability to translate knowledge and understanding into action.(32) Stiggins has provided an instructional module on the design and development of such assessments for use by classroom teachers. It presents a systematic approach that stresses four critical components in the design of an assessment "through the specification of (a) reason(s) for assessment, (b) the type of performance to be evaluated, (c) the exercises that will elicit performance, and (d) systematic rating procedures."(33)

The performance assessments described by Stiggins have the characteristics of what Wiggins and others call "authentic" assessment.(34) Wiggins de-scribes criteria for authentic assessments, which in his view "are contextualized, complex intellectual challenges, not fragmented and static bits or tasks."(35) They tend to be relatively unobtrusive and to involve "representative challenges within a discipline." They measure essentials and "must be scored in reference to authentic standards of performance, which students must understand to be inherent to successful performance."(36)

Because most professors who teach courses in measurement are less familiar with, and possibly less favorably disposed toward, nontest evaluation procedures, particularly the more qualitative procedures, increased emphasis these techniques may require "a change in professors' attitudes toward qualitative evaluation techniques."(37)It may also require a closer integration of instruction in assessment with instruction in the pedagogy of specific subjects. This is so because a major purpose of assessment is to identify student learning needs and use this information in making instructional decisions. For a teacher to use assessment information to guide instruction, to facilitate learning, and to make "principled judgments and decisions on their students' behalf,"(38) much more than an understanding of assessment techniques is required. Knowledge about assessment principles needs to be integrated with an understanding of the subject matter, pedagogy, principles of learning, and children. As in the case of planning and constructing classroom tests, one cannot hope to accomplish these ends solely through preservice instruction. Continuing attention to the needed skills and understandings through professional development programs is needed.

3. Use of Assessment Results for Instructional Planning and for Formative Evaluation


The Content area that teachers in Gullickson's survey rated as deserving the most emphasis was the use of test results for instructional planning and formative evaluation.(39) Tests, however, are only one of the components of formative evaluation. Other types of assessment information are also needed for effective instructional planning and formative evaluation. Broadening the focus to include the full range of student assessment techniques makes this content category all the more important.

Much of the discussion of the two preceding content areas applies equally well to a consideration of the uses of assessment results in instructional planning and formative evaluation. Tests that will be useful for these purposes need to reflect the instructional priorities of the teacher. If the teacher hopes to foster, for example, the development of deep understanding, the ability to think criticallt about the subject matter, and the ability to apply concepts to solve new problems, then tests and other evaluative techniques need to match these goals. Tests and work assignments that require only factual recall of details will not help achieve these goals. Nor will they provide the teacher with information about the depth of student understanding or students' ability to apply concepts in other contexts that can be used in planning instruction. The same could be said about nontest assessment information.

The use of student assessment for purposes of formative evaluation should be a central theme in the education of prospective teachers and in their continuing professional development. As in the use of nontest assessment techniques, effective use of asessment information in planning instruction requires an integration of assessment with pedagogy in the subject matter. A closer cooperation between professors in the areas of assessment, professors in curriculum and instruction, and professional teachers is needed.

4. The use of Assessment Results for Summation Evaluation


Although the use of assessment information for making instruction decisions, for planning and for formative evaluation deserves first priority, teachers are expected to make summative evaluations. Grading and reporting to pupils and parents can be onerous and frustrating. Reporting to both parents and pupils is an essential task, however, and, in many instances grades will be a required part of the report.

Grades and other forms of summative evaluation obviously can have important implications for judgments, and decisions concerning students that are made by school personnel, parents, and the students themselves. Grades are also important determinants of what students believe teachers consider important and of what and how student attend to. "Will it be on the test?" is a question that is all too familiar to teachers, and is easily understood in terms of Walker's observation that "the things that are really important, as every student knows, are the things that appear on tests and are used in grading." (40) It is essential, therefore, that teachers understand the potential positive and negative influences of their summative evaluations, whatever their form. They also need to understand the implications of different approaches to marking and combining marks to that the resulting summative evaluation validly and fairly reflects student accomplishments that are consistent with the teacher's instructional priorities and stated intentions. If students can obtain high grades based on memorization of surface-level facts they are not apt to perceive the importance that he teacher wishes to attach to deep understanding.

5. Administration and Scoring of Tests


Test administration and scoring, while clearly tasks that must be done well, appear on the surface to be relatively straightforward. That is true, however, only if one's vision of assessment is limited to traditional tests with fixes responses (e.g., multiple-choice tests). For assessment of more complex and authentic performances of the type discussed by Stiggins, (41), however, "administration" requires greater skill. Settings must be created that will elicit the desired performance or natural occurrences must be used in a way that provides all students with a fair opportunity to perform. Scoring is also more complex and needs to be adapted to the purposes of the assessment and the nature of the exercises.

Some general principals of administration and scoring of essay exams, class projects, and other types of performance assessments can be dealt with in introductory courses in measurement. Applications are apt to be more meaningful and have greater utility for teachers it they are considered within the context of particular subject areas and grade levels. In-service education in performance assessment and the evaluation of particular types of student products should be useful in this regard.

6. General Assessment Information regarding the Selection and Use of Tests


The last of the six content areas rated as needing emphasis by the teachers surveyed by Gullickson concerns general assessment issues, including the selection and use of tests.(42) It is here that information about standardized tests-their uses and potential misuses-and bases for evaluating such tests should be considered. Teachers need to be informed about the types of tests that may be used and their strengths and limitations for particular applications. They need to understand the various contexts in which standardized tests are used and the appropriate interpretation of results.

Although instruction about standardized testing is now commonly included in introductory courses in educational measurement and such inclusion is appropriate, this form of assessment probably receives more attention than it deserves at that level. Furthermore, issues related to the uses of standardized tests take on a different meaning for practicing teachers who have experienced the pressures for accountability, which commonly reduce to demands for higher test scores, than they are apt to have in a preservice context. Professional teachers not only have a need to be informed about standardized tests, but they need to be in a position to make professional judgments about the appropriate and inappropriate influences such tests can have on classroom instruction. For example, what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate preparation of students for taking a standardized test? To what extent, if any, should such tests influence curriculum and instructional emphases?

Ethical issues need to be addressed by all professionals and assessment, especially assessment that serves external accountability functions, is an area in which there are some complex ethical issues to consider. The question of what sort of preparation is appropriate to provide students prior to the ad-ministration of a high-stakes standardized test is a significant issue on which there are diverse opinions among practicing teachers. Gonzalez, for example, found that only 37 percent of the teachers and test administrators surveyed thought that it was definitely cheating for a teacher who remembers specific questions from a test to teach next year's students the same questions. Another 24 percent indicated that that was not cheating at all. Even when the question was whether it was cheating if copies of the actual test are made available to colleagues and the actual test items are taught in the classroom, 11 percent of those surveyed failed to respond "definitely."(43)

The range of instructional activities that might help students do better on standardized achievement test is quite broad. Mehrens and Kaminski, for example, have identified seven types of activities, ranging from "general instruction on objectives not determined by looking at the objectives measured in standardized tests" to "practice (i.e., instruction)" on the actual form of the test that is used. Mehrens and Kaminski argue that while the first is always ethical, the latter never is. Clearly, the ethics of test administration and test preparation is a topic worthy of serious consideration by both preservice and in-service teachers.(44)

7. Principals of Measurement


Although not included in the content categories identified in Gullickson's survey, (45) there are some general principles of measurement that teachers should know. Concepts of validity and reliability are essential to the evaluation of any assessment procedure. These concepts are important to understand and can be taught with a minimum of statistics. They are guiding principles that can provide a perspective for evaluating assessments based on qualitative information obtained from informal classroom observations as well as the scores they compute on a weekly quiz or a final examination.

STANDARDS


Before closing, it seems relevant to mention an ongoing effort involving four professional associations to develop standards for teacher competence ln educational assessment.(46) The assoctations are the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Council on Measurement in Education, and the National Education Association. A joint committee with representatives from each association has developed a draft set of seven standards emphasizing knowledge and skills in areas closely linked to the classroom assessment of students that teachers are responsible for obtaining and interpreting. When published, these standards should provide a good indication of areas of high instructional priority.

CONCLUSION


A number of people involved in the teaching of measurement have focused their attention on needed changes and improvements in the instruction that is provided for teachers.(47) Although the suggested changes vary in detail and do not always correspond to the above suggestions, the various proposals have a good deal in common. In particular, there seems to be a growing consensus that there is a need for a substantial restructuring of the instruction we provide in assessment for both preservice and practicing teachers. There is also a growing consensus that less emphasis should be given to statistical aspects of measurement and more emphasis to informal and qualitative assessment procedures.

The content areas discussed above do not exhaust the domain of knowledge about student assessment needed by teachers. As with other aspects of the job of a professional teacher, there are ethical and legal issues that need to be considered. There are also specialized uses of tests, such as placing students in a wide range of special programs, the identification of learning disabilities, and making decisions regarding grade-to-grade promotion. An understanding of issues involved in such uses and, where relevant to the professional responsibilities of a teacher, an in-depth knowledge of technical, legal, and ethical considerations should be expected.

The general content areas described above, however, do provide an essential core. Improvements in test construction and the use of nontest assessment procedures such that assessments better reflected the instructional goals of professional teachers alone would represent a substantial advance.

Notes


1 Hugh, G. Petrie, "Introduction to 'Evaluation and Testing,'" Educational Policy 1, no. 2 (1987): 176.
2 Richard J. Stiggins, Nancy F. Conklin, and Nancy J. Bridgeford, "Classroom Assessment: A Key to Effective Education," Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 5, no. 2 (Simmer 1986): 5-17.
3 Terence J. Crooks, "The Impact of Classroom Evaluation Practices on Students," Review of Educational Research 58, no. 4 (1989): 438-81.
4 Ibid., p. 28.
5 Tomorrow's Teachers: A Report of the Holmes Group (East Lansing, Mich,: The Holmes Group, 1986).
6 Ibid., p. 28.
7 Ibid., p. 39.
8 Ibid., p. 29.
9 See, for example, William D. Schafer and Robert W. Linsitz, "Measurement Training for School Personnel: Recommendations and Reality," Journal of Teacher Education 38, no. 3 (1987): 57-63.
10 Linda Darling-Hammond, Beyond the Commission Reports: The Coming. Crisis in Teaching (Santa Monica, Calif.: The Rand Corporation, 1984).
11 Stiggins et al., "Classroom Assessment," p. 1O.
12 Ibid., p. 10.
13 Crooks, "The Impact of Classroom Evaluation Practices on Students," p. 467.
14 Schafer and Lissitz, "Measurement Training for School Personnel."
15 Arlen R. Gullickson and Kenneth D. Hopkins, "The Context of Educational Measurement and Evaluation Instruction for Preservice Teachers: Professors Perspectives," Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 6, no. 3 (Fall 1987): 12.16.
16 Ibid., p. 13.
17 Arlen R. Gullickson, "Teacher Education and Teacher-Perceived Needs in Educational Measurement and Evaluation,"Journal of Educational Measurement 23, no. 45 (1986): 347.54.
18 HarveyJ. Goehring, Jr., "Course Competencies for Undergraduate Courses in Educational Tests and Measurement," The Teacher Educator 9, no. 1 (1973): 11.20.
19 Ibid., p. 20.
20 Stiggins et al., "Classroom Assessment."
21 Gullickson, "Teacher Education and Teacher-Perceived Needs."
22 Ibid.
23 Crooks, "The Impact of Classroom Evaluation Practices on Students."
24 Ibid., P. 442.
25 Ibid., P. 467.
26 Lamar Alexander and H, Thomas James, Report of the Study Group (Cambridge, Mass.: National Academy of Education, 1987).
27 National Academy of Education, "Commentary by the National Academy of Education on The National Report Card"(Cambridge. Mass.: National Academy of Education, 1987), p. 54.
28 See Richard J. stiggins, Evelyn Rubel and Edys Quallmalz, ,Measuring Thinking Skills in the Classroom (Washington, D.C.; National Education Association", 1986).
29 See, for example, Norman E. Gronlund, Measurement and Evaluation in Teaching, 5th ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1985).
30 Crooks, "The Impact of Classroom Evaluation Practices on Students," p. 467.
31 Gullickson" and Hopkins, "The Context of Educattonal Measurement," p. 15.
32 Richard J. Stiggins, "Design and Development of Performance Assessments," Educational Measurement: Issues and Practices 6, no. 3 (1987): 35.
33 Ibid., p. 33.
34 Grant Wiggins, "A True Test: Toward More Authentic and Equitable Assessment," Kappan70. no. 9 (May 1989): 703-13.
35 Ibid., p. 711.
36 Ibid.
37 Gullickson and Hopkins, "The Context of Educational Measurement," p. 15.
38 Tommorrow's Teachers: A Report of the Holmes Group, P. 28.
39 Gullickson, '"Teacher Education" and Teacher-Perceived Needs."
40 Decker F. Walker, "What Constitutes Curricular Validity in a High-School-Leaving Examination?" in The Courts, Validity, and Minimum Competency Testing. ed. George F. Madaus (Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1982), p. 173.
41 Stiggins "Design and Development of Performance Assessments".
42 Gullickson, "Teacher Education and Teacher-Perceived Needs".
43 M. Gonzalez "Cheating on Standardized Tesyt: What Is It?" cited in William A. Mehrens and John Kaminski, "Methods for Improving Standardized Test Scores: Fruitful, Fruitless, or Fraudulent?" Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 8. no. 1 (spring 1989) 14-22.
44 Mehrens and Kaminski, "Methods for Improving Standardized Test Scores."
45 Gollickson, "Teacher Education and Teacher-Perceived Needs.
46 See James R. Sanders, "Standards For Teacher Competence in Educational Assessmeent of Students (paper delivered a the annual meeting of the National Council of Measurement in Education, San Francisco. March 28, 1989).
47 Peter W. Airasian, "Perspectives on Measurement Instruction for Pre-Service Teachers(paper delivered a the annual meeting of the National Council of Measurement in Education, San Francisco, March 28, 1989); Richard J. Stiggins, "Relevant Training for Teachers in classroom assessment" (paper delivered at the annual meeting of the National Council of Measurement in Education, San Francisco, March 28, 1989); and William D. Schafer, "The 'Essentials' Of Professional Education Characteristics of the Learner Assessment Of Learners(Unpublished paper, University of Maryland, October 1988).


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 91 Number 3, 1990, p. 422-436
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 394, Date Accessed: 10/17/2021 12:10:34 AM

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  • Robert Linn
    University of Colorado-Boulder

 
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