Failing to Meet the Standards: The English Language Arts Test for Fourth Graders in New York State
by Clifford Hill - 2004
This article examines two kinds of problems associated with the English Language Arts test at the fourth-grade level in New York State: (1) problems that inhere in the test itself and (2) problems associated with its use. As for the test itself, three kinds of problems are analyzed: (1) the use of multiple-choice tasks to assess reading comprehension, (2) the number of writing tasks that children must respond to within a limited time frame, and (3) the use of a rubric that contains unrealistic criteria. As for the use of the test, two kinds of problems are analyzed: (1) the use of coaching material that has not been properly vetted and (2) the discontinued use of broadly based assessment programs that complement testing with portfolio sampling of children's work. The conclusions offer recommendations for dealing with these problems.
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