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View Diary: Seattle teachers refuse to give flawed standardized test (121 comments)

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  •  Better test if the forms are randomized in dist... (0+ / 0-)

    We had one of two ITBS forms every time I took it, and the form letter was high enough there HAD to be at least 8 or 9 versions. And one of them we only had once.

    The last time I took it, I'd read the essays so many times that my reading comprehension scores were based on me not reading the essays within a year and a half of the test date, I was that sick of them. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who pulled that, and I'm fairly certain that even now, over a decade and a half later, I could still score well on the same questions without seeing the essays again.

    Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

    by Cassandra Waites on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:11:21 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The different forms of tests differ on field test (0+ / 0-)

      items only. As a teacher, I often wondered why there were different forms. It turns out that there are 2 groups of questions on most standardized tests:

      1. Questions that count towards a score for anyone taking the test. These questions typically amount to about 90% of a typical standardized test.

      2. Questions that don't count towards a score for those taking the test. THese questions typically amount to about 10% of a typical standardized test. These are so-called "field test" items.

      What are field test items, you ask? Each year the state department of education that gives the test also wants to develop new questions for use on future standardized tests. The new questions are most often written by teachers in the state after being trained by the contracted assessment company. These questions typically go through a lengthy process of review by the assessment company as well as by teacher panels in the state where the test is used. Those questions that survive the rather lengthy and rigorous process become potential "field test" items.

      The inclusion of field test items in a standardized test allows for statistical analysis of each individual item to determine if it is a good item in terms of difficulty, content focus, etc. The field test items are buried in the standardized test so that students will devote the same effort to the few items that do not count as they devote to those items that do count. The statistics derived from a field test allow the test developers and state departments of education to judge whether the specific item is appropriate for use in a future test, where it would count.

      So to summarize, test forms are different only in the handfuls of field test items, which are being developed for future tests, and those items do not count on the test score a student receives.

      •  Knowing that they use the same damn essays (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for all ITBS-takers in all grade levels makes me feel worse about it, not better.

        I probably got a few grade levels worth of score jump on the Reading sections based on having really detailed memories.

        Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

        by Cassandra Waites on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 04:17:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tests developed for different grades would be (0+ / 0-)

          entirely different. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. At a specific grade level only the field test items differ among forms. ITBS essays would almost certainly differ by grade level, but I can't state that as a fact. Hope that helps.

          •  They don't. (0+ / 0-)

            Same essays, third through sixth when I took it in the '90s.

            2+2 was even the same question each time in one of the math sections - that one I mentally tracked because having it in the middle of much more advanced arithmetic problems seemed so insulting.

            Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

            by Cassandra Waites on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:38:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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