Standardized Achievement Tests
Chapter 9 of your course text discusses standardized assessments and explains the difference in the types of standardized assessments. It is important to understand that assessments are standardized when “the same procedures are used every time the test is given” (Howard, V. F., & Aiken, E., 2015, p. 331). Developing the understanding that there are many types of standardized assessments, such as screeners and diagnostic assessments covered in the previous weeks of class, is equally important. Another type of standardized assessment, and one that is hotly debated in education today, is achievement testing. Specifically, achievement testing “is used to measure children’s progress and compare it to other children of the same age” ((Howard, V. F., & Aiken, E., 2015, p. 331)). It is this type of standardized assessment that is our focus for this first discussion post.
To prepare for this discussion, read the “Something’s wrong with both standardized tests and the ‘Opt-Out’ movement” article. Include the following in your initial post:
- Explain, in your own words, what standardized testing is and how it is different from achievement testing.
- Compare and contrast how the different types standardized testing differs from the other forms of assessment discussed throughout this course. Provide specific examples and support your points with information from the course text.
- Defend one of the quotes below from the article Something’s wrong with both standardized tests and the ‘Opt-Out’ movement. Explain why you support or agree with the quote and provide specific details as to why. Support this portion of your post with the text and at least one scholarly resource.
- Option One: “Federally mandated standardized testing was born from a desire to guarantee the right to individuality and autonomy across socio-economic bounds.” – Jordan Shapiro
- Option Two: “When seen from a desk of a federal bureaucrat, standardized tests make more children stand out.” –Jordan Shapiro
- Option Three: “When seen from the desk-chair of a classroom pupil, children are robbed of the individuality that comes from differentiated instruction.” – Jordan Shapiro
- Propose a solution to the standardized achievement testing debate. How do you feel children should be assessed in both early childhood and beyond? Provide a rationale for your solution.
Guided Response: Review several of your peers’ responses. Respond to at least two of your peers who chose a different quote from the Shapiro article than you did. Comment on the solid points in their argument, pointing out why the points they made are valid. Finally explain how, no matter the varied views of standardized assessments, each teacher and caregiver can uphold their responsibility to conduct assessments in an ethical manner. Cite specific examples from the Joint Position Statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) document (pages 2-4) that support how your classmate’s point of view regarding standardized testing aligns with this statement.
Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. Remember, continuing to engage with peers and the instructor will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic.
For your final project this week, you will be developing a portfolio. In order to help you better understand the purpose of your assignment, we want to take a deeper look into the use of portfolios as an assessment tool. Chapter 6 of the course text discusses how portfolios are used to develop a holistic picture of a child’s abilities by providing a framework to gather and evaluate artifacts ((Howard, V. F., & Aiken, E., 2015).As a professional working with children, your role in portfolio assessment is a vital one. For this discussion, we will focus on the importance of portfolio assessment in the classroom or childcare center.
- Discuss how portfolio assessments support you as a professional in your quest to ensure thegrowth of the children with whom you work. Make sure to include specific examples of the purposes of portfolios to support your thinking.
- Explain how you will manage the logistical piece of using portfolio assessments. Reference section 6.2 Portfolio Logistics from the course text to support your explanation.
- Describe the different types of evidence that are included in portfolios. Make sure to explain the role the children will play in this piece of the portfolio process.
- Discuss how you will include families in the portfolio assessment process, and why this important to the portfolio process
- Explain how the portfolio process you will use with children mirrors the portfolio you are creating for your final project in this course.
Guided Response: Review several of your peers’ responses. Respond to at least two of your peers and share one new take-away you had about portfolios from reading their response. In addition, discuss at least two additional types of evidence they may want to include in their portfolios and explain why.
Though to replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. Remember, continuing to engage with peers and the instructor will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic.