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score against the scores of a group of people who have already taken the same exam, called the "norming group." When the test taker receives the results of their test they are normally displayed in percentiles. Percentiles, such as the 49thpercentile, mean the test taker scored better than 49% of the norm group. Criterion-referenced tests are intended to measure how well a person has learned a specific subject or skills. Criterion-referenced tests are the most common types of tests taken in our educational system and society today. For example, students taking a final exam in a math class are probably taking criterion-referenced tests, or when a person takes a test to obtain a drivers license. When teachers are deciding which type of test, norm referenced or criterion referenced, to use, they must make an assessment decision. In most cases, schools and districts choose norm-referenced tests when they need to attempt some type of uniform comparison of students achievement. Because the tests questions are uniform and the administration is uniform, it allows these schools a convenient method to measure many students with the same yard stick. Criterion-referenced tests, on the other hand, require many different types of decisions. When to administer the test is an administration decision. Question 2: IDEA-04 enacted several changes in the way general education teachers work with and assess special needs students. First, both special education teachers and regular education teachers are required to be part of the IEP planning teams. Second, it requires that assessment of children with disabilities be conducted in the normal classroom to help determine if the child needs services. Finally, amongst other things, shifts much more responsibility from the self-contained classrooms to the regular classroom. Question 3:
In terms of educational tests and measurements the term validity refers to, “Does the test measure what it is supposed to measure,” and the term reliability refers to “Does the test yield, all other factors being equal, the same or similar results”. The average classroom should be most concerned with content validity. Basically, do the questions on really ask what you want them to ask. Otherwise a teacher could be assuming mastery of content that isn’t mastered. There are two easy steps classroom teachers can make to ensure content validity. First, start with the end in mind. That means to plan your objectives before you begin to write the test, and then once the test is written match the questions to those objectives. Secondly, have a neutral third party proof read your test to make sure all the questions make sense. Sometimes it is difficult to spot your own mistakes.
Question 4: First, the exercise lacks sufficient directions. “Match A and B” may not be clear to most students. It does not state wether you want the descriptions next to the names, or the names next descriptions. Second, column A and column B should be more homogeneous. For example, separate the presidents into their own matching exercise, and either leaver everyone else out, or create another matching exercise with inventors, and explorers, etc, provided they are directly applicable to the subject you are testing. After separating the homogenizing the lists, add a few options in the B column. If you add one or two plausible distracters to the list, it will help eliminate the possibility of test taker guessing. Fourth, there are multiple answers in Column B for the presidents in Column A. This will probably cause some unnecessary confusion for some students. Finally, there is no place for the students to place their answers. This may make grading difficult because students may place the letter next to the number, draw lines, or any other variation. Directions: Carefully read the both Column A and B, and then place the letter of the description from column B in the blank next the president’s name in Column A. Column A 1. Abraham Lincoln 2. John F. Kennedy 3. George Washington 4. Franklin Roosevelt 5. Richard Nixon 6. Gerald Ford Column B A. president during the twentieth century B. Resigned from office C. Was Assassinated in Texas D. Our First President E. Delivered the Emancipation Proclamation F. Only President Elected for more than two terms G. Only president not elected
Question 5: The following restricted response essay question is designed for high school students who are being tested on music history. The questions should require both comprehension and analysis. Directions: Read each of the following questions carefully and answer each as an essay. There is no specific length requirement, however make sure you answer each and every part of the question thoroughly. 1. Compare and contrast the musical composition styles of Beethoven and Bach. Be sure to discuss any significant musical influence each may have had. State which composition style, if any, you feel effects music most today, and give evidence to support your conclusion. Essay Question Rubric: Compare Bach and Beethoven Contrast Bach and Beethoven Bach influences Beethoven influences Today’s effects Question 6: One very important and fundamental aspect of music performance through band is the student’s knowledge and performance of scales. All students should be able to perform all of the major scales from memory on their instrument by the end of the year. To ensure this achievement student will be asked to perform their each of their scales periodically throughout the year. All scales will be explained and rehearsed prior to testing as a class. Students will be notified which scale(s) one week prior to testing. Points Possible 2 2 2 2 2 Points Earned
The following rubric1 will be used for grading: After completing the test the student will be given a copy of their rubric with comments from the teacher. The comments should identify specific examples of the types of mistakes made and how to fix them. Question 7: I would ask the individual to define the purpose of education. I would argue that the purpose of education is to help students develop the skills and knowledge they need in order to be well rounded contributing members of society. To those ends, performance assessments are the only REAL way to ensure that the students are actually able to USE what they are learning. Other forms of testing allow students to demonstrate their knowledge at a particular moment in time, but they do not demonstrate the student knows how to apply the information to real world situations, nor does it demonstrate the knowledge will be retained any longer than the moment of testing. I would also argue that some subjects do not lend themselves to the standard forms of assessment. Music, for example, is a performance subject, and while there are aspects of which could be tested traditionally, the bulk of achievement must be assessed by students demonstrating their ability to perform a given piece of music on their instrument. While it may be difficult to reliably assign a number grade to these assessments it is normally quite clear who can perform and who cannot. Question 8: If I was forced to respond solely on the headline, I would suggest comprehensive analysis of the article. The main stream media has a habit of sensationalizing headlines to sell newspapers, and we would need to know more about the article to make an educated decision on its accuracy. However, if I were forced to argue solely on the basis of the headline, I would suggest any test results should be based on a combination of factors. For example, I would suggest the dramatic increase in English language learners in the school system. I would also admit that there could be some truth to the headline as well. As testing becomes more extensive and comprehensive, weaknesses in the school system are bound to be exposed. As those weaknesses are
Adapted with permission from http://www.dallastown.net/29053821722538/lib/29053821722538/Playing_Test_Info.pdf
exposed it gives educators the opportunity to improve the way we educate. I feel that many educators are afraid that their own inadequacies may be uncovered and brought to light. Those are the teachers who cheat, blame, and seem to be afraid to look at themselves and adapt.
Question 9: Those critics of high stakes testing who say that it leads to teaching to the test are partially correct. I believe that the best teachers are not worried about a standardized test, because they know they have taught their students what they need to know. It is those teachers who are insecure who teach to the test. They are refuse to take responsibility for the students in their class, and they refuse to adapt, so they shift blame from themselves to the test, test makers, and the politicians who force the tests upon them. The mere administration of the tests does not magically lead to different teaching. It is our reaction to the tests that lead to different teaching. Standardized test serve a function that is important to our society, we run into trouble when assign too much value to their results. People should understand that those tests are only snapshots of KNOWLEDGE at a given moment, and nothing more. Sometimes we need that snapshot for various reasons. For example, to find out if people know the rules of the road before they receive a driver’s licenses, or to find out if at a given point in time students know a specific piece of knowledge. Question 10: My grading scheme would be as follows: A B C D F +,>=90% <90% and =>80% <80% and =>70% <70% and =>60% <=60% School policy
Homework: Tests: Portfolio: Notebook: Objective tests: Performance Tests: Classwork: T l: ota
15% 10% 10% 20% 30% 15% 100%
From my experience, schools tend to specify which number grade corresponds to which letter grade. I have provided what, from my experience, is a typical grading scheme. For a band grade I would weight performance tests the largest portion of the grade and factor the other portions accordingly. To me, the difference between a B- and a C+ in the final grades is the difference established by the school guidelines. On assignments each assessment I will have clear objectives and rubrics established that clearly define what is expected and what each portion is worth. In doing so the students will be able to choose what grade they get by either fulfilling the expectations or not fulfilling them.
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