skip to main content skip to footer

Standards-Based Score Interpretation: Establishing Valid Grounds for Valid Inferences

Messick, Samuel J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Construct Validity, Scaling, Scoring, Standards


The construct validity of content standards is addressed in terms of their representative coverage of a construct domain and their alignment with the students' cognitive level of developing expertise in the subject matter. The construct validity of performance standards is addressed in terms of the extent to which they reflect increasing levels of construct complexity as opposed to construct-irrelevant difficulty. Also critical is the extent to which performance standards characterize the knowledge and skills operative at each level both to accredit specific accomplishment and to serve as goals for further learning. All of this depends on construct- valid assessment attuned to the content standards and the development of dependable scoring rubrics and measurement scales for representing the performance standards. (30pp.)

Read More