The vast majority of educators-for whom scores resulting from standardized tests are so potentially vital and informative-have literally never received formal training regarding how to interpret these scores and, more importantly, how to use them to aid their instructional decision making.
The basic purpose of this book is to provide teachers and administrators with a manual, of sorts, designed to help them understand the nature of standardized tests and, in particular, the scores that result from them. The definitive purpose of the book is to help them develop the skills necessary to incorporate these test scores into various types of instructional decision making (a process known as `data-driven decision making') as necessitated by the needs of their students. This title includes:
- Numerous samples of printouts resulting from well-known standardized tests
- Presentation and discussion of various process that can be used to incorporate standardized test results into instructional decision making
- Several specific examples, using sample results of these well-known standardized tests and the processes, such as how a teacher would proceed through the process of using the test scores to aid in making decisions about future instruction
- Case studies, consisting of interviews conducted by the author with district-level administrators, building administrators, and classroom teachers, all of whom have been engaged in a process of incorporating test scores into decision making for several years
This book could serve as a supplement to any course that incorporates standardized testing as a topic, including but not limited to courses in classroom assessment, educational psychology, content methods, reading, special education, curriculum, literacy, administration, the principalship, and the superintendency.
Craig A. Mertler has been an educator for 30 years, 20 of those in higher education. He is currently an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the EdD Program in Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University. He teaches doctoral courses focused on the application of action research to promote educator empowerment, school improvement, and job-embedded professional development and also teaches quantitative research methods, introductory statistical analysis, multivariate statistical analysis, and educational assessment methods. He is the author of 20 books, four invited book chapters, 18 refereed journal articles, two instructors' manuals, and numerous nonrefereed articles and manuscripts. He has also presented more than 35 research papers at professional meetings around the country as well as internationally. He conducts workshops for in-service educational professionals (at all levels) on classroom-based action research and on the broad topic of classroom assessment. His primary research and consulting interests include classroom-based action research, data-driven educational decision making, professional learning communities, and classroom teachers' assessment literacy. Before teaching and researching at the university level, he taught high school biology and earth science and also coached track and volleyball. In his leisure time, he enjoys traveling with his family and playing golf. Dr. Mertler can be reached at Craig. Mertler@asu.edu or email@example.com for consulting, professional development, and speaking engagements.
Preface SECTION ONE: OVERVIEW OF STANDARDIZED TESTING: CONCEPTS AND TERMINOLOGY 1. What Is "Standardized" Testing? What Makes a Test "Standardized"? A Brief History of Standardized Testing in American Education How Standardized Tests Are Developed Test Bias Types of Standardized Tests Based on Purpose Types of Standardized Tests Based on Scores Summary Activities for Application and Reflection 2. The Importance of Standardized Testing Appropriate Uses of Standardized Testing in Education Misuses of Standardized Testing in Education Why Educators Dislike Standardized Testing Why Educators (Should) Like Standardized Testing Summary Activities for Application and Reflection 3. Standardized Test Administration and Preparation Standardized Administration Procedures Testwiseness Skills Do's and Dont's of Test Preparation "Teaching to the Test" Versus "Teaching to the Standards"- A Final Word Summary Activities for Application and Reflection SECTION TWO: STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES AND THEIR INTERPRETATIONS 4. Test Reports Overview of Test Reports Individual Student Reports Class Reports Building- and District-Level Reports Summary Activities for Application and Reflection 5. Criterion-Referenced Test Scores and Their Interpretations What Do Criterion-Referenced Test Scores Tell Us? Selected-Response Test Items Constructed-Response Test Items The Nature of Cut Scores Summary Activities for Application and Reflection 6. Norm-Referenced Test Scores and Their Interpretations What Do Norm-Referenced Scores Tell Us? The Nature of Norm Groups Types of Norm-Referenced Scores Standard Error of Measurement and Confidence Intervals Summary Activities for Application and Reflection SECTION THREE: USING STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES IN INSTRUCTIONAL DECISION MAKING 7. Group-Level Decision Making Data-Driven Decision Making A Process for Focusing on Group Instruction Summary Activities for Application and Reflection 8. Student-Level Decision Making A Process for Focusing on Individual Instruction (Intervention) Summary Activities for Application and Reflection 9. Value-Added Analysis and Interpretation What Is "Value-Added" Analysis? A Process for Value-Added Decision Making Summary Activities for Application and Reflection SECTION FOUR: CASE STUDIES: INTERVIEWS WITH TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS District and School Profiles Interview Transcripts: Teachers Interview Transcripts: Administrators Glossary References Index About the Author