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Testing and Standards

A Brief Encyclopedia

By Sandra Wilde

What's the difference between a norm-referenced and a criterion-referenced test? If newspapers say only 50% of kids are reading at grade level, should you be worried? When does getting kids ready to take tests cross the line into cheating?

In today's educational climate, teachers have a lot of questions about where standards and tests come from, what they mean, and how they're used. Sandra Wilde packs this handy reference guide with clear and concise explanations of this convoluted, and increasingly important, world. She not only defines technical terms, she makes sense of the ethics and politics...

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What's the difference between a norm-referenced and a criterion-referenced test? If newspapers say only 50% of kids are reading at grade level, should you be worried? When does getting kids ready to take tests cross the line into cheating?

In today's educational climate, teachers have a lot of questions about where standards and tests come from, what they mean, and how they're used. Sandra Wilde packs this handy reference guide with clear and concise explanations of this convoluted, and increasingly important, world. She not only defines technical terms, she makes sense of the ethics and politics involved.

What's more, Wilde provides the ammunition to challenge policies relating to testing and standards that aren't benefiting students. In a series of mini-essays on relevant topics, she gives you the information you need to:

  • see if your state's standards and tests have been well developed
  • know how passing scores for state tests are set
  • determine whether schools are using unethical practices to raise test scores
  • check whether your local newspaper describes test results accurately.

Dip into Wilde's brief encyclopedia to demystify the lingo. Or read it straight through as a quick primer on the concepts and issues of testing and standards. Then understand why every educator and policy maker should be aware of their impact in real classrooms.

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