Measures That Matter by Achieve and Education Trust sets out a “new set of basics” — standards, course requirements, curriculum and teacher support materials, aligned assessments, and an information/accountability system — that will prepare high school graduates for college and careers.
‘Open source’ testing could satisfy those who want local measures of achievement linked to national standards, writes Charles Barone in Education Week. He envisions a national data bank of test items based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Program for International Student Assessment.
Over the course of one or two years, the panel would create a pool of test items that would be piloted and subjected to the usual analyses of psychometric rigor. The goal would be to move beyond multiple-choice items to short-answer, problem-solving, essay, and other formats.
States and districts could pick items from the bank to develop local assessments. But comparability would remain an issue, I think.
Computer-adaptive testing is gaining in popularity, reports Education Week. These tests respond to correct answers by asking harder questions; wrong answers prompt easier questions. Tests are shorter because high achievers don’t waste time with questions that are too easy and low achievers don’t face questions that are too hard. Teachers can pinpoint each student’s achievement level. And teachers get the results instantly, so they can use the information to adapt instruction.
Only Oregon uses computer-adaptive testing as its accountability test, though Utah is considering it.