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Chapter 14: Appropriate and Inappropriate Test-Preparation Practices


Teresa Meza

on 26 September 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 14: Appropriate and Inappropriate Test-Preparation Practices

Chapter 14: Appropriate and Inappropriate Test-Preparation Practices Teresa Meza
Brad Watson Inference Illuminators huh?? Are You Prepared?
The Pre-Assessment What do you know?? - Prosser & Trigwell, 1997 The Problem What we are told: In regrads to the Evaluative guidlines What we Need to know 2002 What we NEED to KNow 1980 It was in the year of 1980
that student test scores
were used as the chief
indicator of student educational

Now quality of education has
always been the rage, but it
was at this time that student test
performance became
pervasive. As we know such tests are
mandated through
legislation and these "high-
stakes tests are not only
heavily weighted for our
students, they are weighted
for teachers as well.

Linking scores to academic
success and labeling
competency of content
based on instructional
programs has become
the name of the

Now although "high-stakes testing" has
been implemented since the early 80's,
in 2002 it became the "law of the land" for
the United States when President George W.
Bush signed and enacted the NCLB Act. With "high-stakes testing" here to stay attention regarding all aspects of the test intensified, but focus shifted from the test itself to the important area of test preparation. Mrs. Gordon makes sure she has her sixth-grade students practice in the fall for the nationally standardized achievement tests required in the spring by the district’s school board. Fortunately, she has been able to make photo-copies of most of the test’s pages during the past several years, so she can organize a highly relevant two-week preparation unit wherein students are given actual test items to solve. At the close of the unit, students are supplied with a practice test on which about 60% of the test consists of actual items copied from the nationally standardized commercial test. Mrs. Gordon provides students with an answer key after they have taken the practice test so that they can check their answers.

Are there any Violations in this scenario?
If yes, what are they? High Stakes Assessment Arrives! Before we jump head first into appropriate and inappropriate
practices, remember that all achievement tests are
bringing to light our student's academic status. Keep in
mind that the results are there so we can make a resonable
inference based upon out students' knowledge and mastery in the
cirricular aim that the test represents. Understanding the relationship
between a student's test
performance and the student's
mastery of cirricular aim is
essential in establishing appropriate
Some teachers are using test prepartaion practices
that do disservice to our students and are unethical. On page 338 - 340, Popham introduces two Evaluative Guidelines
that are key for each teacher to employ if they wish to
implement effective and appropriate test-preparation practices: Professional Ethics
Educational Defensibility

No test-preparation practice should violate the ethical norms of the
education profession.


No test-preparation practice should increase students' test scores without
simultaneously increasing students' mastery of the curricular aim tested. NCLB Professional Ethics in more detail: * Obliges teachers to avoid any unethical
test-preparation practice.

* Teachers serve “in place of the parent” thus, they take
on an ethical responsibility to serve as models of ethical
behavior to their students

*Unethical practices, if brought to the attention of the public,
erodes public confidence in our schools
Educational Defensibility in more detail: * Stresses the importance of engaging in instructional practices that are in the best interests of the students

* Appropriate test-prep practices raise both pre-preparation-to-post-preparation performance on a test but it also raises students’ pre-preparation-to-post-preparation mastery of the curricular aim being tested

* Inappropriate test-preparation no longer serves as an accurate indicator of students’ status with respect to the curricular aim
Five Test-Preparation Practices Previous-form preparation

special instruction and practice based
on previous use of an actual test.

Current-form preparation

Special instruction and practice
based directly on use of test
form currently being used.
Generalized test-taking preparation

Special instruction covering
test-taking skills for dealing
with a wide variety of test
Same-format preparation

Deals directly with the content
covered on the test but only uses
practice items in the same format
as items used on actual test.
Varied-format preparation

Deals directly with the content covered on the test, but employs practice items representing a variety of test-item formats.
Previous-Form Preparation:

Violates the educational defensibility
guideline because students’ scores are
apt to be boosted via such special preparation sessions without increasing students
mastery of the curricular aim being tested. This practice is seen as merely coaching students for test-score gains.
Current-form preparation:

Violates both professional ethics and educational defensibility guidelines. Such preparation constitutes an outright example of cheating and in most cases the test being used is stolen or surreptitiously copied. Generalized Test-Taking Preparation:

This is an appropriate form of test preparation.
Generalized test-taking preparation sessions allow
students’ test performances to be more accurately
reflective of their true amount of
knowledge or skills. Same-Format Preparation:

This is ethical, but not educationally defensible.
If students are allowed to deal only with the explicit item format used on tests, then those students will be far less likely to generalize what they have learned.
Varied-Format Preparation:

This practice satisfies both professional ethics and educational defensibility guidelines. Rises in test scores will generally be accompanied by rises in mastery of the curricular aim. read it...Apply it! Teaching to the Test Teachers that aim their
instruction so students
accomplish the curricular
aim sampled by the actual test...

Has two meanings... Teachers who are directing
their instruction specifically
toward the actual items
on the test itself...
BAD INSTRUCTION!! Thou shalt not say "Teaching to the test."

Thou shalt say "Teaching to the test items."

Thou shalt say "Teaching to the curricular aim
represented by the test." 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 29 30 31
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