Conclusions

Currently administered state and commercial achievement tests and NAEP vary significantly in terms of their content emphasis, types and difficulty of test questions, and the thought processes they require of students. In addition, these tests vary substantially in how and when they are administered, whether all students respond to the same sets of questions, how closely the tests are related to what is taught in school, how they are scored, and how the scores are reported and used (Roeber et al., 1997).

Therefore, the committee concludes, that:

Comparing the full array of currently administered commercial and state achievement tests to one another, through the development of a single equivalency or linking scale, is not feasible.

Reporting individual student scores from the full array of state and commercial achievement tests on the NAEP scale, and transforming individual scores on these various tests and assessments into the NAEP achievement levels, is not feasible.

Although the committee concludes that it is not feasible to link the full array of existing tests to each other or to NAEP, it is exploring issues involved in developing linkages between specified subsets of these tests. Among the questions to be considered in our final report are whether criteria might be developed to help evaluate the quality of proposed linkages between various tests, what research would be required to develop such criteria, and what would be the longer term policy implications of selecting some of the many tests used by states and localities for linkage to a common scale or NAEP or both.



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EQUIVALENCY AND LINKAGE OF EDUCATIONAL TESTS: INTERIM REPORT Conclusions Currently administered state and commercial achievement tests and NAEP vary significantly in terms of their content emphasis, types and difficulty of test questions, and the thought processes they require of students. In addition, these tests vary substantially in how and when they are administered, whether all students respond to the same sets of questions, how closely the tests are related to what is taught in school, how they are scored, and how the scores are reported and used (Roeber et al., 1997). Therefore, the committee concludes, that: Comparing the full array of currently administered commercial and state achievement tests to one another, through the development of a single equivalency or linking scale, is not feasible. Reporting individual student scores from the full array of state and commercial achievement tests on the NAEP scale, and transforming individual scores on these various tests and assessments into the NAEP achievement levels, is not feasible. Although the committee concludes that it is not feasible to link the full array of existing tests to each other or to NAEP, it is exploring issues involved in developing linkages between specified subsets of these tests. Among the questions to be considered in our final report are whether criteria might be developed to help evaluate the quality of proposed linkages between various tests, what research would be required to develop such criteria, and what would be the longer term policy implications of selecting some of the many tests used by states and localities for linkage to a common scale or NAEP or both.