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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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Full Description

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.

Contents

Contents:
1. Accountability (Consumers, Taxpayers, and Citizens)
2. Authenticity in Assessment
3. Carrot and Stick (Standards, Testing, and Motivation)
4. Criterion- and Norm-Referenced Tests
5. Curriculum Alignment
6. Emotional Aspects of Testing
7. Equity
8. Essential Readings
9. Ethics
10. Gain Scores and Value Added
11. Grade Level
12. Group Versus Individual Assessment
13. High Stakes
14. How Much Do Tests Cost?
15. Internet Resources
16. Knowing Something Versus Answering Test Questions
17. Lake Wobegon Effect
18. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
19. Passing (Cutoff) Scores
20. Percentiles and Stanines
21. Politics of Testing
22. Professional Organizations
23. Reading Comprehension Assessment
24. Reliability
25. SAT Tests
26. Spelling Assessment (as an Exemplar of Broader Issues)
27. Standard Deviation
28. Standardized
29. Standards
30. Test Security
31. Test Specifications
32. Testing Teachers
33. Validity
34. What Should an Educated Person Know?
35. Where Do We Go from Here?

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