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Progress Toward Standards as Standards for Progress: A Potential Role for the National Assessment of Educational Progress NAEP

Messick, Samuel J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Standards, Educational Objectives, Educational Quality, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Standards, Test Use


As currently constituted and implemented, the National Assessment of Educational Progress incorporates three key elements of a responsible standard-setting process — namely, the choice of educational objectives, the description of current group performance ranges and trends, and the identification of educational contexts differentially related to performance. What is still required to move on to the setting of quality educational standards are value judgments as to which ranges of performance are deemed unsatisfactory, adequate, or excellent by different societal groups. This article addresses the type of pluralistic judgmental process needed for standard-setting when a diversity of values as well as consensus must be taken into account. (16pp.)

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