What are Standardized Tests?
Assess student’s performance
Compared with other students at same age level (norms are established)
Many times at national level
Purpose of Standardized Tests
Student’s progress, strengths and weaknesses
Evidence for Placement
SAT, ACT, graduation exams, TAG placement exams
How are teachers doing? Schools? Districts? Curriculum?
Types of Standardized Tests
Measure general abilities and predict future performance
EX: ACT, SAT, IQ tests
Measure how much students learn in a given context
CAT, Iowa Test of Basic Skills, Diagnostic tests
Interpreting Standardized Tests
Raw scores are translated into derived scores
These scores relate student’s performance to those of the norm group
Ex: percentile rank, grade-equivalent scores
Evaluating Standardized Tests
Validity and Reliability
Is test appropriate for its intended use?
Does it produce consistent results?
Does the test assess what the user wants it to assess?
Are scores related to scores from another measure of an associated trait
SAT and GPA (predictive)
WISC and the Woodcock Johnson (concurrent)
EX: Give Test Today and in 2 weeks
Form A now; Form B later
Odd versus Even Numbers
Administering the Tests
Follow exact procedures
Pros/Cons of Standardized Testing
What are your attitudes toward classroom versus standardized tests? Which do you believe reflect learning best? Which do
you prefer? Why?
Students taking the SAT score an extra 30 points for every $10,000 in their parents income
States collectively spend more than $400 million to test students (2001)
3,000 kids in NYC were mistakenly sent to summer school by a CTB/Mc-Graw Hill scoring error
West Bend, Wisconsin, 30 business leaders agreed to take the state’s proposed graduation exam. More than 50% failed.
In Texas, 25% of minority freshman are retained, and 98% of those retained drop out before senior year
Testing Industry is worth $630-680 billion
The U.S. is the only economically advanced nation to rely heavily on multiple-choice tests.
Other nations use performance-based assessment where students are evaluated on the basis of real work such as essays, projects
Ironically, because these nations do not focus on teaching to multiple-choice tests, they even score higher than U.S. students
on those kinds of tests.
In some schools that accountability movement has resulted in teachers trying to "teach to the test" so that their students
will achieve required passing scores.
How does this relate to earlier discussions on student learning? What lasting effects, if any, will this have on overall
student performance? What are the risks of teaching to the test? What are the risks of not teaching to the test? As a teacher,
what would you do?