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Moving From Challenge To Action: Accountability Supporting Student Learning. Joan L. Herman. UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) CRESST Conference UCLA, Los Angeles, CA September 9, 2004.

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moving from challenge to action accountability supporting student learning

Moving From Challenge To Action:Accountability Supporting Student Learning

Joan L. Herman

UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information StudiesNational Center for Research on Evaluation,Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)

CRESST Conference

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

September 9, 2004

overview
Overview
  • Role of assessment in improving student learning
  • Evidence on how things are working
  • Advice on moving ahead
theory of action motivation
Theory of Action: Motivation
  • Establish standards
  • Develop measures
  • Set performance goals
  • Leaven with incentives/sanctions
  • Schools will be pay attention
    • Attend to standards/assessment results
    • Work to improve student performance/learning
theory of action technical system
Theory of Action: Technical System
  • Assessment results will provide accurate/valid information at multiple levels
  • Data will be well used to inform planning and decision making
  • Educational system will well use data to engage in continuous improvement
is the motivation system working
Is the Motivation System Working?
  • The good news:
    • Districts and schools taking action to align curriculum, etc with standards
    • Teachers listen to the signal and focus instruction accordingly
  • The not so good news
    • Curriculum narrowed
    • Possibility of dual curriculum
    • Concern for teacher’/principals’ professionalism and morale
some critical questions
Some Critical Questions:
  • How can we design standards and assessment systems that optimally focus instruction but don’t stifle it?
  • What happens to motivation when schools hit the wall and performance levels out?
is the technical system working
Is the Technical System Working?
  • Feds are asking for right kinds of validity evidence
    • Alignment
    • Validity for EL and SWD
  • Accuracy: 75% probability that CST correctly classifies students’ proficiency level (Rogosa)
  • Reliability and year to year score fluctuations a continuing challenge
is the technical system working cont
Is the Technical System Working?(cont.)
  • Validity of gains suspect
  • Feasibility of AYP targets problematic
  • Thorny technical/psychometric issues in dealing with 40+ possible indicators of AYP
critical questions
Critical Questions
  • Validity of AYP designations: Do they identify the right schools?
  • Is there a better way to establish and operationalize improvement targets?
alignment a critical lynchpin
Alignment: A Critical Lynchpin
  • Are we clear enough about what we want:
    • Teachers to teach?
    • Test developers to test?
  • Is face validity of content and cognitive demand enough?
  • Research suggests difficulties
one alignment example
One Alignment Example
  • Study used 20 content experts
  • Considered each item and rated
    • Topic addressed
    • Depth of knowledge (DOK)
    • Content centrality
  • Results - Clear majority agreed on
    • Topic for 35/42 items
    • Topic AND DOK for 14/42 items
    • Topic, DOK and centrality for 5 items
implications
Implications
  • How can teachers teach to “standards” if experts don’t agree on what topics and levels of DOK mean?
  • Current reality: alignment is a moving target
a moving target example from ny alan tucker
A Moving Target Example from NY(Alan Tucker)
  • Standard: Apply formulas to find measures such as length, area, volume, weight, time, and angle in real world situations
  • Representation of Math A Test, June, 02 - June, 03 (4 tests)
    • # items: 1-3
    • Range of content and complexity
critical questions1
Critical Questions
  • If we want teachers to teach to the standards rather than the test, how can we be sure that developers and teachers share the same understandings?
  • How can we specify standards and assessments in ways that clearly communicate expectations without unacceptable curriculum narrowing?
  • Can we frame expectations in ways that are feasible for all students?
teacher assessment the neglected key
Teacher Assessment: The Neglected Key
  • If we believe in the power of assessment to support learning, we must put that power where learning occurs
  • Many capacity challenges
  • Some realistic remedies:
    • Teacher pre-service education
    • Requirements for materials developers