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Appendix A Glossary of Terms Related to Early Childhood Assessment Accommodations Adaptations in assessment tools and stan- dards to permit children with disabilities or English language learners to show what they know and can do. Adjustments may be made, for example, in the way a test is administered or presented, in the timing, in the language, or in how the child responds. The nature of the adjustment determines whether or not what is being measured or the comparability of scores is affected (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Achievement test A testing instrument, typically standardized and norm-referenced, used to measure how much a child has learned in relation to edu- cational objectives (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Alternative See Performance assessment. assessment 423
424 EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT Assessment A term sometimes used loosely to refer to any type of appraisal of young children. In a narrower sense, assessment refers to infor- mation from multiple indicators and sources of evidence that is organized and interpreted and then evaluated to make an appraisal (McAfee, Leong, and Bodrova, 2004). Authentic A type of performance assessment that uses assessment tasks that are as close as possible to real-life practical and intellectual challenges and the child completes the desired behavior in a context as close to real life as possible (McAfee, Leong, and Bodrova, 2004). Construct- Variance in assessment results that reflects i Â rrelevant variables other than the construct the assess- variance ment is intended to measure. An example is the variance in a mathematics assessment that may occur if the child being assessed lacks the language skills to understand the assessment items. Criterion- A testing instrument in which the test-takerâs r Â eferenced performance (i.e., score) is interpreted by assessment comparing it with a prespecified standard or specific content and/or skills (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Curriculum-based Form of criterion-referenced measurement assessment wherein curricular objectives act as the cri- teria for the identification of instructional targets and for the assessment of status and progress (Bagnato and Neisworth, 1991). Developmental An ongoing process of observing a childâs assessment current competencies (including knowledge, skills, dispositions, and attitudes) and using the information to help the child develop further in the context of family and careÂ giving and learning environments (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008).
APPENDIX A 425 Developmentally Developmentally appropriate practice is appropriate informed by what is known about child development and learning, what is known about each child as an individual, and what is known about the social and cultural con- texts in which children live (adapted from National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1996, 2008). Dynamic Assessment approach characterized by assessment guided support or learning for the purpose of determining a childâs potential for change (Losardo and Notari-Syverson, 2001). Formal A procedure for obtaining information that assessment can be used to make judgments about char- acteristics of children or programs using standardized instruments (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Formative An assessment designed to monitor prog- assessment ress toward an objective and used to guide curricular and instructional decisions. High-stakes Tests or assessment processes for which assessment the results lead to significant sanctions or rewards for children, their teachers, admin- istrators, schools, programs, or school sys- tems. Sanctions may be direct (e.g., reten- tion in grade for children, reassignment for teachers, reorganization for schools) or unintended (e.g., narrowing of the curricu- lum, increased dropping out). Informal A procedure for obtaining information that assessment can be used to make judgments about charac- teristics of children or programs using means other than standardized instruments Â(Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Naturalistic See Authentic assessment. assessment
426 EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT Norm-referenced A standardized testing instrument by which test the test-takerâs performance is interpreted in relation to the performance of a group of peers who have previously taken the same test. The group of peers is known as the ânormingâ group (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Performance Finding out what children know and can assessment do by observing how they perform certain tasks. Usually uses tasks as close as pos- sible to real-life practical and intellectual challenges (McAfee, Leong, and Bodrova, 2004). Portfolio A collection of work, usually drawn from assessment childrenâs classroom work, which, when subjected to objective analysis, becomes an assessment tool (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Progress Assessment conducted to examine studentsâ monitoring academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction.Â Progress is measured on a regular basis (e.g., weekly or monthly) by comparing expected and actual rates of learning. Based on these measure- ments, teaching is adjusted as needed (Asso- ciation for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2008). Readiness test A testing instrument designed to measure skills believed to be related to school learn- ing tasks and to be predictive of school suc- cess (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008).
APPENDIX A 427 Reliability The consistency of measurements, gauged by any of several methods, including when the testing procedure is repeated on a popu- lation of individuals or groups (test-retest reliability), or is administered by different raters (inter-rater reliability). There is no sin- gle, preferred approach to quantification of reliability (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Asso- ciation, and National Council on Measure- ment in Education, 1999). Screening The use of a brief procedure or instrument designed to identify, from within a large population of children, those who may need further assessment to verify developmental and/or health risks (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Standardized test A testing instrument that is administered, scored, and interpreted in a standard man- ner. It may be either norm-referenced or criterion-referenced (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Standards-based An assessment using criteria that are derived assessment directly from content or performance stan- dards (adapted from Council of Chief State School Officers, 2008). Summative An assessment that typically documents assessment how much learning has occurred at a point in time; its purpose is to measure the level of child, school, or program success (Associa- tion for Supervision and Curriculum Devel- opment, 2008). Validity (of an The extent to which an instrument measures assessment or what it purports to measure; the extent tool) to which an assessmentâs results support meaningful inferences for certain intended purposes.
428 EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT SOURCES American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education. (1999). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: Author. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2008). Homepage. Available: http://www.ascd.org [accessed June 2008]. Bagnato, S.J., and Neisworth, J.T. (1991). Assessment for early intervention: Best practices for professionals. New York: Guilford Press. Council of Chief State School Officers. (2008). Glossary terms. Washington, DC: Author. Available: http://www.ccsso.org/projects/scass/projects/ early_childhood_education_assessment_consortium/publications_and_ products/2892.cfm [accessed August 2008]. Losardo, A., and Notari-Syverson, A. (2001). Alternative approaches to assessing young children. Baltimore, MD: Brookes. McAfee, O., Leong, D.J., and Bodrova, E. (2004). Basics of assessment: A primer for early childhood educators. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.