ETS Policy Notes — Testing

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Accountability achievement tests constructed response educational assessment educational change educational policy educational research elementary secondary education essay tests mathematics tests national programs performance performance based assessment science tests standardized tests state programs testing problems testing programs writing tests


This issue of ETS Policy Notes (Volume 2, No. 3) provides three articles on current research in testing. The first article, "Testing in the Schools," discusses the role of testing in educational reform. In the 1980s, the overwhelming purpose of state standardized testing has become promoting accountability in areas of: (1) monitoring, (2) gatekeeping, (3) remediation, and (4) funds distribution. Educational policy makers need to find some way to evaluate the tests. Some guideposts for evaluating testing are suggested: making sure that instructional outcomes and learning outcomes guide the testing; determining how a test protects against bias in race, gender, or ethnicity; making sure that appropriate techniques are used; and making testing for accountability less obtrusive. The second article, "Constructed Response Testing: Some Development Efforts," examines two approaches focusing on student-developed solutions to questions that can be economically scored. The first approach involves the use of an answer grid to record answers to mathematical questions, and the second approach involves the use of figural response items for science testing. The third article, "Assessing Performance," describes some of the work conducted at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and in Connecticut in the area of student performance assessment. The "Learning by Doing" project of the National Assessment of Educational Progress is described. Also discussed are: a writing portfolio study, the Arts PROPEL program in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), and Connecticut's Common Core of Learning Assessment Project. Four figures illustrate the discussions. ED 324 349.


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