Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests

INTERIM REPORT

Michael J. Feuer, Paul W. Holland, Meryl W. Bertenthal, F. CadelleHemphill, and Bert F. Green, Editors

Committee on Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests

Board on Testing and Assessment

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1998



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Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests: INTERIM REPORT Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests INTERIM REPORT Michael J. Feuer, Paul W. Holland, Meryl W. Bertenthal, F. CadelleHemphill, and Bert F. Green, Editors Committee on Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests Board on Testing and Assessment Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1998

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Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests: INTERIM REPORT 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 competences and with regard for appropriate balance. 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. The study was supported by Grant No. ED-98-CO-0005 between the National Academy of Sciences and the 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 this project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06177-6 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue N.W. Washington, DC 20418 Call 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area). This report is also available on line at http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences . All rights reserved.

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Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests: INTERIM REPORT COMMITTEE ON EQUIVALENCY AND LINKAGE OF EDUCATIONAL TESTS PAUL W. HOLLAND (Chair), School of Education, University of California, Berkeley ROBERT C. CALFEE, School of Education, Stanford University JOHN T. GUTHRIE, Human Development, University of Maryland, College Park RICHARD M. JAEGER, School of Education, University of North Carolina, Greensboro PATRICIA ANN KENNEY, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh VONDA L. KIPLINGER, Colorado Department of Education DANIEL M. KORETZ, RAND, Washington, D.C. FREDERICK C. MOSTELLER, Department of Statistics, Harvard University PETER J. PASHLEY, Law School Admission Council, Newtown, Pennsylvania DORIS REDFIELD, Educational Consultant, Richmond, Virginia WILLIAM F. TATE, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin, Madison DAVID THISSEN, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill EWART A.C. THOMAS, Department of Psychology, Stanford University LAURESS L. WISE, Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, Virginia ROBERT L. LINN, ex officio, Board on Testing and Assessment, National Research Council; School of Education, University of Colorado MICHAEL J. FEUER, Study Director BERT F. GREEN, Senior Technical Advisor MERYL W. BERTENTHAL, Senior Research Associate F. CADELLE HEMPHILL, Senior Research Associate LISA D. ALSTON, Senior Project Assistant

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Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests: INTERIM REPORT BOARD ON TESTING AND ASSESSMENT ROBERT L. LINN (Chair), School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder CARL F. KAESTLE (Vice Chair), Department of Education, Brown University RICHARD C. ATKINSON, President, University of California IRALINE BARNES, The Superior Court of the District of Columbia PAUL J. BLACK, School of Education, King's College, London, England RICHARD P. DURÁN, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara CHRISTOPHER F. EDLEY, JR., Harvard Law School, Harvard University PAUL W. HOLLAND, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley MICHAEL W. KIRST, School of Education, Stanford University ALAN M. LESGOLD, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh LORRAINE MCDONNELL, Departments of Political Science and Education, University of California, Santa Barbara KENNETH PEARLMAN, Lucent Technologies, Inc., Warren, New Jersey PAUL R. SACKETT, Industrial Relations Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis RICHARD J. SHAVELSON, School of Education, Stanford University CATHERINE E. SNOW, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University WILLIAM L. TAYLOR, Attorney at Law, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM T. TRENT, Associate Chancellor, University of Illinois, Champaign JACK WHALEN, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, California KENNETH I. WOLPIN, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania MICHAEL J. FEUER, Director VIOLA C. HOREK, Administrative Associate

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Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests: INTERIM REPORT Acknowledgments This report culminates the first six months of a nine-month effort that would not have been imaginable without the extraordinary contributions of many individuals. Above all, we are extremely grateful to the members of the committee, who understood both the urgency and significance of their charge, gave generously of their expertise and time, and met the highest standards of the 130-year-old tradition of the National Academy complex in providing voluntary scientific advice to the government through the National Research Council (NRC). As chair of the Board on Testing and Assessment (BOTA), Robert Linn again provided impeccable judgment, wise counsel, and virtually unlimited time. We thank Bob and other members of BOTA for their superb stewardship of this (and other) BOTA projects. At the staff level, we express special thanks to Meryl Bertenthal and Cadelle Hemphill, relative newcomers to the NRC, who quickly, gracefully, and effectively mastered the many aspects of their new jobs; to Lisa Alston, for her absolutely superb and unflappable administrative support; to Bert Green, whose wisdom born of experience and scholarship is reflected throughout the report; and to Nancy Kober, for her fine editorial and substantive judgment. Other BOTA staff—Bob Rothman, Karen Mitchell, Patricia Morison, Viola Horek, Naomi Chudowsky, Lee Jones, Kim Saldin, Alix Beatty, Allison Black, and Steve Baldwin —offered advice and support at various stages of writing and rewriting, and came through again as an invaluable team. Barbara Torrey, executive director of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE), and Sandy Wigdor, director of the CBASSE's Division on Education, Labor, and Human Performance, have been sources of great encouragement in this fast-track study and paved many paths from committee formation through report review. Finally, extra special thanks to Eugenia Grohman, the CBASSE associate director of reports, our guardian angel. This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional

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Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests: INTERIM REPORT standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals, who are neither officials nor employees of the NRC, for their participation in the review of this report: Bruce Bloxom, Naval Postgraduate School (retired), Monterey, California; Robert Brennan, College of Education, University of Iowa; Arthur S. Goldberger, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin; Lyle V. Jones, L.L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Lincoln E. Moses, Department of Statistics (emeritus), Stanford University; Stephen P. Raudenbush, School of Education, University of Michigan; Henry W. Riecken, Department of Behavioral Sciences (emeritus), University of Pennsylvania Medical Center; Richard Shavelson, School of Education, Stanford University; Mark Wilson, School of Education, University of California, Berkeley. While the individuals listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC. Paul W. Holland, Chair Michael J. Feuer, Study Director

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Equivalency and Linkage of Educational Tests: INTERIM REPORT Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1     INTRODUCTION   3     PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF STUDY   5      Policy Context,   5      Purposes of Linkage,   5      Scope of Study,   6     COMING TO TERMS: ASSUMPTIONS, DEFINITIONS, AND GOALS OF LINKAGE   7      Linking and Equating,   7      Feasibility,   8      Uses of Linkage,   10      Distinct Character of NAEP,   11     FINDINGS   13      Comparability: Content, Format, and Related Features,   13      Diversity and Multiplicity of Testing Programs,   14      Stability of Results,   15      Test Uses and Effects on Teacher and Student Behavior,   16      Population or Subgroup Differences,   19      Reporting Results in Terms of NAEP Achievement Levels,   23     CONCLUSIONS   33     REFERENCES   35

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