Transitions in Work and Learning

Implications for Assessment

Alan Lesgold, Michael J. Feuer, and Allison M. Black, Editors

Board on Testing and Assessment

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1997



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--> Transitions in Work and Learning Implications for Assessment Alan Lesgold, Michael J. Feuer, and Allison M. Black, Editors Board on Testing and Assessment Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1997

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--> NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study was supported by Grant No. K43173008060 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Office of School-to-Work Opportunities, U.S. Department of Education. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Transitions in work and learning: implications for assessment / Alan Lesgold, Michael J. Feuer, and Allison M. Black, editors. p. cm. Papers presented at a conference in March 1996. "Board on Testing and Assessment, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council." Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-309-06365-5 (pbk). 1. Vocational evaluation—United States. 2. School-to-work transition—United States. 3. Vocational education—United States. 4. Occupational training—United States. 5. Labor market—United States. I. Lesgold, Alan M. II. Feuer, Michael J. III. Black, Allison M. IV. National Research Council (U.S.). Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Board on Testing and Assessment. LC1048.V63.T73 1997 370.11'3'0973—dc21 97-21176 CIP Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academy Press , 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Lock Box 285, Washington, DC 20055. (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Internet, http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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--> BOARD ON TESTING AND ASSESSMENT RICHARD J. SHAVELSON (Chair), School of Education, Stanford University LAURIE J. BASSI (Vice-Chair), American Society for Training and Development, Washington, DC ROBERT L. LINN (Vice-Chair), School of Education, University of Colorado RICHARD C. ATKINSON, President, University of California IRALINE G. BARNES, Potomac Electric Power Co., Washington, DC DAVID C. BERLINER, College of Education, Arizona State University PAUL J. BLACK, School of Education, King's College, London RICHARD P. DURÁN, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara CHRISTOPHER F. EDLEY, JR., Harvard Law School RICHARD F. ELMORE, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University ARTHUR S. GOLDBERGER, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison PAUL W. HOLLAND, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley CARL F. KAESTLE, Department of Education, University of Chicago MICHAEL W. KIRST, School of Education, Stanford University ALAN M. LESGOLD, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh KENNETH PEARLMAN, Lucent Technologies, Inc., Warren, NJ PAUL R. SACKETT, Industrial Relations Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis ALAN H. SCHOENFELD, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley WILLIAM L. TAYLOR, Attorney, Washington, DC EWART A.C. THOMAS, Department of Psychology, Stanford University JACK WHALEN, Institute for Research on Learning, Menlo Park, CA MICHAEL J. FEUER, Director ALLISON M. BLACK, Research Associate KATHLEEN GUIDROZ, Research Associate ADRIENNE F. CARRINGTON, Administrative Assistant JANICE LIVERANCE, Administrative Assistant

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--> VOLUME CONTRIBUTORS LARRY CUBAN, School of Education, Stanford University MICHAEL J. FEUER, Board on Testing and Assessment, National Research Council HARRY J. HOLZER, Department of Economics, Michigan State University GLYNDA HULL, College Writing Programs, University of California, Berkeley ALAN LESGOLD, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh ROBERT J. MISLEVY, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ BONALYN NELSON, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University DENNIS PARKER, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, New York, NY KENNETH PEARLMAN, Lucent Technologies, Sarasota, FL LAUREN B. RESNICK, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh NEAL SCHMITT, School of Education, Michigan State University RICHARD J. SHAVELSON, School of Education, Stanford University ROBERT ZEMSKY, Institute for Research on Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania

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--> Acknowledgments Many members of the Board on Testing and Assessment helped in the design of the March 1996 conference and in the review of the papers included in this volume. We are especially grateful to Alan Lesgold, who chaired the conference and whose active involvement in all aspects of the board's work has been invaluable. In addition to chairing the conference, Alan contributed his own paper, which provides a particularly enriching blend of ideas about the current and future status of work and testing. Board members Lauri Bassi, Art Goldberger, Bob Linn, Carl Kaestle, Paul Sackett, Bill Taylor, and Jack Whalen played a major role in framing the conference, reading the papers, and offering invaluable commentary. Former board members James Outtz and Brigitte Jordan also provided important guidance and commentary. We are grateful to all these individuals for their tireless efforts on behalf of the board. The board also asked an outside group of experts to serve on an ad hoc advisory committee. We thank Vicki Vanderveer, David Grissmer, and Anne Borthwick for their time, energy, and excellent contributions. BOTA staff member Allison Black was primarily responsible for the difficult and complex tasks of managing the editorial and logistical aspects of the book. Karen Mitchell read early drafts and helped in numerous important ways. Finally, we wish to acknowledge the National Office of School-to-Work Opportunities for its interest in and financial support of this project. In particular, Nevzer Stacey deserves special credit for her unflagging dedication to the principle that good human resources policy deserves (and requires) good science. Richard J. Shavelson, Chair Michael J. Feuer, Director Board on Testing and Assessment

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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--> Contents     1 Introduction Michael J. Feuer and Richard J. Shavelson   1 I   THE KNOWLEDGE GAP: RHETORIC AND EVIDENCE         2 Is There a Gap Between Employer Skill Needs and the Skills of the Work Force? Harry J. Holzer   6     3 Skills and the Economy: An Employer Context for Understanding the School-to-Work Transition Robert Zemsky   34 II   WHAT IS WORK? RHETORIC AND ETHNOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE         4 Should Social Skills Be in the Vocational Curriculum? Evidence from the Automotive Repair Field Bonalyn Nelsen   62     5 Manufacturing the New Worker: Literate Activities and Working Identities in a High-Performance Versus a Traditionally Organized Workplace Glynda Hull   89

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--> III   ASSESSING ASSESSMENT: WHAT WE KNOW HOW TO MEASURE, WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW         6 Twenty-First Century Measures for Twenty-First Century Work Kenneth Pearlman   136     7 Postmodern Test Theory Robert J. Mislevy   180 IV   CAUTION FLAGS         8 Legal Restrictions on Assessments Dennis Parker   200     9 Assessment Without Adverse Impact Neal Schmitt   215 V   VISIONS OF THE SCHOOL-TO-WORK TRANSITION         10 What Policy Makers and Experts See (and Do Not See) in School-to-Work Transitions Larry Cuban   235     11 Getting to Work: Thoughts on the Function and Form of the School-to-Work Transition Lauren B. Resnick   249     12 Transitions in Work and Learning Alan Lesgold   264 APPENDIX:   Conference Agenda   281 Transitions in Work and Learning

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