NIFL-ASSESSMENT 2005: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1016] Re: Use of test sc

Archived Content Disclaimer

This page contains archived content from a LINCS email discussion list that closed in 2012. This content is not updated as part of LINCS’ ongoing website maintenance, and hyperlinks may be broken.

From: Marie Cora (marie.cora@hotspurpartners.com)
Date: Thu Mar 24 2005 - 10:55:34 EST


Return-Path: <nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov>
Received: from literacy (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by literacy.nifl.gov (8.10.2/8.10.2) with SMTP id j2OFtYG23427; Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:55:34 -0500 (EST)
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:55:34 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <00bb01c5308a$f8f47e80$0202a8c0@frodo>
Errors-To: listowner@literacy.nifl.gov
Reply-To: nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov
Originator: nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov
Sender: nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov
Precedence: bulk
From: "Marie Cora" <marie.cora@hotspurpartners.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list <nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov>
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1016] Re: Use of test scores
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.2627
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
Status: O
Content-Length: 9545
Lines: 212

Hi Katrina, Larry, and everyone,

Katrina, you noted:

"I think the placement and test scores are guidelines but not something
that can replace one on one interviewing and assessment done between the
teacher and student.  I also don't think they are used the same by all
teachers." 

I would agree with you on both those points.  I don't believe that
teachers use testing instruments the same for very basic reasons:  they
don't fully understand what it means to be standardized (i.e.:  you MUST
administer your test the same way to everyone, or your results are
simply invalid:  useless!), and they don't ask the right types of
questions of themselves in order to make an informed choice about a
tool.  Teachers and administrators should be asking some fundamental
questions BEFORE selecting an assessment, and these questions have to do
with the purpose of the test, the purpose that the teacher has for
giving a test, and then matching the answers to those questions as best
as possible.

I was recently presenting at a conference in which a participant
lamented that her program spent months trying to "match" or "connect"
the scores of the TABE, with scores from the ABLE test (they used the
ABLE, but the funder wanted to see TABE results).  Well, you cannot do
that:  there are no tests that align with one another unless those tests
were developed the same way together.  I do know that some performance
assessments do their best to align themselves with the NRS levels - the
REEP Writing Assessment is one (we had a guest discussion on the REEP
several weeks back) - and by the way, the REEP is an excellent
performance-based assessment that truly informs classroom writing.
Another participant in my session noted that the teachers in her program
all administered the TABE however they saw fit (i.e.:  ditching the
timed piece; giving the placement in place of the full form; ESOL
learners were given the TABE for some reason).  I told the group that
they should not bother giving the test at all and make up scores because
it amounts to exactly the same thing.

Would you ever just make up scores and send them in to whoever?
Probably not.  But if you don't follow tenets of standardization, then
just go ahead and make up your scores, cuz that's exactly what you're
doing anyway.  

I would also agree that we need a more holistic look at a person's
performance - and I think that NRS is trying to do that as well, by
focusing some attention on performance assessments and by making some of
the shifts in levels as well.

For a great list of questions that you can ask yourself and your program
about the tests you will select or are using, go to the ALEWiki
Assessment section and click on Selecting Assessment Tools.  There is
also a section on Commercially Available Assessment Tools that describes
the most commonly used ones in detail, and includes some discussion
excerpts on these tests.
The ALEWiki is at:
http://wiki.literacytent.org/index.php/Main_Page

You can also go to the Assessment Collection area called Selecting
Assessments for a Variety of Purposes - there you will find web
resources that speak directly to the topics discussed here.
http://literacy.kent.edu/Midwest/assessment/tt_types.html


Thanks!

marie cora
Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and 
Coordinator/Developer LINCS Assessment Special Collection at 
http://literacy.kent.edu/Midwest/assessment/
 
 
 
marie.cora@hotspurpartners.com




-----Original Message-----
From: nifl-assessment@nifl.gov [mailto:nifl-assessment@nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Condelli, Larry
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 11:41 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1014] Re: Use of test scores

Katrina,

I think your experiences reflect what most teachers feel about NRS
assessments.  We don't have very many assessment instruments in adult
education that meet the rigorous psychometric requirements of the NRS,
and the ones we do use (TABE, CASAS, BEST, etc.) have to be used
sometimes for broad purposes. They do meet accountability requirements
and offer some information about student performance, but they are often
inadequate for informing instruction.  We do recommend the use of other
assessments for instructional and other purposes, although we run the
risk of too much assessment on students if we go too far.  Limited time
is also a factor.

Marie has suggested the use of performance assessments for this purpose.
Such assessments can also be standardized and used in the NRS (the BEST
Plus is an example) but it is very difficult to do all of the research
and development work.  However, many programs use performance
assessments or curriculum-based assessments to supplement the
information from NRS tests.

-----Original Message-----
From: nifl-assessment@nifl.gov [mailto:nifl-assessment@nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Katrina Hinson
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 8:27 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1013] Re: Use of test scores

In response to Larry's questions forwarded by Marie:

Do teachers/program staff have access to test scores?  
We do have access to them. They are given to us when a new student
arrives. Additionally, instructors are responsible for monitoring when
post tests are needed and ensuring that the students are post tested .

Do they use them?
How?  If not, why not?  How are they useful -- do they help instruction?
I can't speak for everyone in my program. I will say I use them - but
only as a guideline. I learned a long time ago that the placement test
scores did little to really tell me what a student knew or didn't know. 
I explain to my students that the placement test scores are just that, a
means by which to place a student in the appropriate classes to ensure
their success.  They are not at all useful in terms of instruction and I
think they give students a false sense of security.  I have students
that come in and assume b/c they tested at a 9.something level that they
should be able to just take the GED and I have to explain to them why
that's not neccessarily true. Then I give a student my own pre tests to
see where they are in terms of being able to pass the GED  often, they
come back and admit they're not as ready as they thought. I then have to
answer the question "How come I did so well on the placement tests but
not on the pre tests you gave?" 


What are the shortcomings?  What could be done at the state/federal
levels to help programs use test scores?  For example what kinds of
analysis/assistance might be helpful?

The shortcomings are that the placement tests are not as broad reaching
as say the GED tests. It is by no means a fair leap to assume that
simply b/c you place at the GED High level according to the TABE that
you're automatically ready to take the GED. That simply isn't so but
students get so caught up in the "placement" level that it sometimes
creates the "I already know that" barrier. 

For example, of the list of assessments that can be used for the NRS
(and I don't have that in front of me so I don't know them all off
hand), what do you get out of the TABE, BEST Plus, CASAS, for
example?The NRS certainly uses that data - but can you or do you?  How
and what for?  Does it inform your teaching and your classroom?

I use it as a guideline, sort of a baseline to see where a student MIGHT
be...but that's it. I have students who come in at the GED Intermediate
or High level and yet when I give them the a pre test to determine where
their level is in relation to the GED,  they are no where near ready -
often missing more than 50% of a 50 question test. Additionally, when
asked during a personal interview with the student, when they left
traditional school and find out they left in 7th grade I find myself
asking how they scored at a 9th grade level or even higher in some
cases, especially if they have not been previously enrolled in a basic
skills class. 

I think the placement and test scores are guidelines but not something
that can replace one on one interviewing and assessment done between the
teacher and student.  I also don't think they are used the same by all
teachers. 

Katrina

>>> marie.cora@hotspurpartners.com 03/22/05 10:24 AM >>>
Hi everyone,
 
Larry posed some really good questions I think.  I often wonder if
people/programs use data for program improvement (and how), so the
variation below on that theme is particularly interesting for me:
 
Do teachers/program staff have access to test scores?  Do they use them?
How?  If not, why not?  How are they useful -- do they help instruction?
What are the shortcomings?  What could be done at the state/federal
levels to help programs use test scores?  For example what kinds of
analysis/assistance might be helpful?
 
For example, of the list of assessments that can be used for the NRS
(and I don't have that in front of me so I don't know them all off
hand), what do you get out of the TABE, BEST Plus, CASAS, for example?
The NRS certainly uses that data - but can you or do you?  How and what
for?  Does it inform your teaching and your classroom?
 
Has anyone developed performance assessments that are being used now for
the NRS?  Intuitively I feel like that type of assessment would be
readily used by teachers, but that it is less accessible for the NRS.
Larry, can you or anyone comment on this?
 
Thanks,
marie
 
marie cora
Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and Coordinator/Developer
LINCS Assessment Special Collection at
http://literacy.kent.edu/Midwest/assessment/
 
 
 
marie.cora@hotspurpartners.com
 
 



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Oct 31 2005 - 09:48:47 EST