Part III
How to Assess

In this part, we turn to the question of how to select and administer assessments, once purposes have been established and domains selected. Some of the issues dealt with here are the technical ones defined by psychometricians as key to test quality: the reliability and validity of inferences, discussed in Chapter 7. Others have to do with the usability and fairness of assessments, issues that arise when assessing any child but in particular children with disabilities and children from cultural and language minority homes; these are discussed in Chapter 8. In Chapter 9, and in particular with regard to direct assessments, we discuss the many ways in which the test as designed may differ from the test as implemented. Testing a young child requires juggling many competing demands: developing a trusting relationship with the child, presenting the test items in a relatively standardized way that is nonetheless natural, responding appropriately to both correct and incorrect answers and to other child behaviors (signs of fear, anxiety, sadness, shyness). While it may not be possible to manage all these demands optimally, it is important that they are at least acknowledged when interpreting test results.



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OCR for page 179
Part III How to Assess I n this part, we turn to the question of how to select and admin- ister assessments, once purposes have been established and domains selected. Some of the issues dealt with here are the technical ones defined by psychometricians as key to test quality: the reliability and validity of inferences, discussed in Chapter 7. Others have to do with the usability and fairness of assessments, issues that arise when assessing any child but in particular chil- dren with disabilities and children from cultural and language minority homes; these are discussed in Chapter 8. In Chapter 9, and in particular with regard to direct assessments, we discuss the many ways in which the test as designed may differ from the test as implemented. Testing a young child requires juggling many competing demands: developing a trusting relationship with the child, presenting the test items in a relatively standardized way that is nonetheless natural, responding appropriately to both cor- rect and incorrect answers and to other child behaviors (signs of fear, anxiety, sadness, shyness). While it may not be possible to manage all these demands optimally, it is important that they are at least acknowledged when interpreting test results. 

OCR for page 179