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Norm-Referenced and Criterion-Referenced Assessments. A Historical view from 1900 to the Present. How did Standardized T esting become what it is today?. College Entrance Examination Board founded (CEEB)1900 To identify students from the “elite” institutions in the northeastern U.S.

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norm referenced and criterion referenced assessments

Norm-Referenced and Criterion-Referenced Assessments

A Historical view from 1900 to the Present

how did standardized t esting become what it is today
How did Standardized Testing become what it is today?
  • College Entrance Examination Board founded (CEEB)1900
    • To identify students from the “elite” institutions in the northeastern U.S.
  • Henry Goddard in 1913
    • intelligence test for immigrants coming through Ellis Island in New York (Eugenics Testing).
  • Robert Yerkes and E. G. Boring in 1917
    • “Army Alpha” test to select officers and to winnow out the recruits who also were recent immigrants or children of immigrants.
  • C. C. Brigham 1926 takes over the College Board (CEEB)
    • A Yerkes disciple, delivers the first Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
  • 1930’s Scholastic Aptitude Test
  • 1940’s SAT Achievement Tests
  • 1950’s Advanced Placement or AP test
    • CEEB becomes the Educational Testing Service (ETS)
  • 1959 Everet Franklin Lindquist develops the ACT
  • 1964 NAEP:
    • National Assessment of Education Progress
  • 2002 No Child Left Behind Act – High Stakes Assessment
    • State & School Accountability
  • 2005 SAT Reasoning Test
    • Current test (under revision)
a closer look at the sat
A Closer Look at the SAT

The SAT:

In 1968; The University of California adopts the SAT as a requirement for admission.

It Tests:


Critical Reading,

and Writing

scores range from 600 to 2400, combining test results from three 800-point sections 

  • Originally Designed to measure innate intelligence (Eugenics based)
    • NOT what students had learned in school
  • By the 1950’s it aimed to:
    • Democratize higher education
    • Improve opportunities for the poor
    • End class spoils system
    • Make academic merit rather than birth the measure of success.
a closer look at the act
A Closer Look at the ACT


It Tests:



Reading, and

Science Reasoning

Writing added in 2005

By 2015 it will be a offered as a computer-assisted test

tests are scored individually on a scale of 1–36, and a Composite score is provided which is the whole number average of the four scores.

  • Started in 1959 by Everet Franklin Lindquist to compete with the SAT.
    • ACT or American College Testing
  • Two purposes;
    • general educational development of students and;
    • their capability to complete college-level work
a closer look at the naep
A Closer Look at the NAEP


It Tests:




science and 


No results for individual students, classrooms, or schools.

Testing 4th, 8th and 12th graders across the country. 

  • 1964 Carnegie Corporation Grant
    • 1969 first national testing administration
  • Congressionally mandated project
    • Administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
    • Tests “what American students know and can do in core subjects”
    • Data released as The Nation’s Report Card
two types of standardized tests
Two Types of Standardized Tests
  • Norm-Referenced Tests (NRT’s)
  • Defined:
    • Performance compared to others who took the test or with some other group of students
    • Relative grading
    • ascertains the rank of students (percentiles out of 100% for example)
  • Examples:
    • The SAT Test
    • The GRE
    • Wechsler Intelligence Scale
    • IQ Tests
  • Criterion Referenced Tests (CRT’s)
  • Defined:
    • comparing student’s performance with predefined performance standards
    • Absolute grading
    • A student’s score is not influenced by other’s scores;
  • Examples:
    • The NAEP
    • The ACT Tests
    • The Smarter Balanced Assessment Test (SBAT)
two types of standardized tests cont d
Two Types of Standardized Tests (cont’d)



Material is chosen by how well it matches what students learn that is considered most important.

This score might tell which math operations a student can perform or the level of reading difficulty the student can understand

  • Material is chosen based on how well it ranks students of high achievers to low achievers.
    • If a student receives a score of 34, this means they did as well or better than 34% of the students (out of 100%); 66% of the students did better.
2002 and no child left behind
2002 and No Child Left Behind
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1970
    • President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty“
    • forbidding the establishment of a national curriculum
    • equal access to education 
    • establishes high standards and accountability
    • funds are authorized for professional development, instructional materials, for resources to support educational programs, and for parental involvement promotion
  • Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002
    • Standards-Based Education Reform
    • High standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education
    • requires states to develop assessments in “basic skills”
    • annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, and funding changes
common core state standards
Common Core State Standards

Reaction to NCLB and the States requirement to create Standards-Based Education Reform

the standards cannot be changed or modified, creating in effect, a national curriculum.

It Covers:



Speaking & Listening


Media & Technology

  • 2009 National Governors Association
    • to "provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.“
  • Forty-five of the fifty states in the United States are members of the Common Core State Standards Initiative
common core state standards assessment
Common Core State Standards & Assessment

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Test

The First National Assessment of SBAT is scheduled for Spring 2015

This will replace the NECAP in NH

The other test for the Common Core State Standards is the:

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC)

19 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Membership 24 States and 3 Affiliate/Advisory States
    • Achievement level descriptors (ALDs) articulate the knowledge, skills, and processes expected of students at different levels of performance on the Smarter Balanced assessments
      • ie: Criterion-Based Assessment
    • Computer Adaptive Testing
      • By adapting to the student as the assessment is taking place, these assessments present an individually tailored set ofquestions to each student and can quickly identify which skills students have mastered