Additional Issues to Consider


Secondary and Middle Grades Education

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Comments on an article by W. J. Popham et al (see record 2006-02146-001). In this article the authors point out that existing high-stakes assessments are often perceived as deficient with regard to these three characteristics, and they then describe their efforts to produce instructionally supportive accountability tests specifically for physical science in the middle grades. There are four issues that were not addressed explicitly in the article but that I believe must be considered explicitly before embarking on the task of designing instructionally supportive accountability tests. The issues are: (a) the composition of the design team, (b) the basis (e.g., research, experience, and/or knowledge) for identifying curricular aims, (c) the connection between the skill-by-concept matrix and the assessment tasks, and (d) what constitutes improved classroom instruction.

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