The Table of Specifications: Insuring Accountability in Teacher Made Tests

By Notar, Charles E.; Zuelke, Dennis C. et al. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, June 2004 | Go to article overview

The Table of Specifications: Insuring Accountability in Teacher Made Tests


Notar, Charles E., Zuelke, Dennis C., Wilson, Janell D., Yunker, Barbara D., Journal of Instructional Psychology


Teachers have been in the era of accountability for some time. There is an increased demand for accountability and the use of non-referenced testing with President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" initiatives. However, there is a growing demand for less reliance on standardized tests. Admission decisions to colleges and universities are being made with less emphasis on using standardized test scores and more on other criteria such as Grade Point Averages (GPAs). GPA is a standard of accountability. However, when you compare GPA and standardized test scores there are frequently differences among students GPA and scores on a standardized test, sometimes very large differences. From the literature we know standardized tests are valid. The question needs to he asked if GPAs are a valid measures of student achievement. GPAs are based in large measure on teacher made tests. If teacher made tests are not valid, how can a students GPA be valid? This paper looks at teacher made tests and validity. The use of a Table of Specifications can provide teacher made tests validity. This paper provides the why a Table should be used and how to construct a Table for their assessment purposes.

**********

The literature is full of articles on accountability issues in education (Eisenberg & Serim, 2002). Others agree. Mehrens and Lehman referred to the "age of accountability ..." as far back as 1973. More recently, Falk (2002) Nathan (2000) and Newell (2002) have spoken to the growing demand for accountability given the massive use of norm referenced testing in today's schools. The literature is full of articles on norm-referenced achievement testing. The literature is full of articles on admission policies and the selection decisions being made on the basis of standardized test scores and grade point averages (Imber, 2002; Jenkins, 1992; Marshall, 1997; Micceri, 2001; Patton, 1998; and Perfetto, 2002).

However, the literature is not full of accountability issues regarding teacher made classroom tests. Teacher made tests have flirted with, had affairs with and been engaged to accountability, but a permanent relationship has not materialized. Now, it is the time for a marriage to take place. The reasoning is simple--the GPA. The grade point average (GPA) is a standard of accountability based on course grades resulting from teacher made, or teacher chosen, content specific tests. And, although the GPA may be considered in selection processes, norm referenced test results may carry more weight. This happens because there is too often a poor relationship between the GPA and scores on norm-referenced achievement tests.

Lei, Bassiri and Schultz, (2001) found that a college GPA was an unreliable predictor of student achievement. Since we assume that norm referenced tests are valid measures, the tendency is to put more weight on those results concerning student achievement. Opponents of standardized achievement testing would argue otherwise. For example, Bennett, Wesley and Dana-Wesley (1999) suggested that a college admission model should be developed to encompass GPA, rank in class and a district performance index or a similar predictor as an alternative to standardized test scores. A formula index based on these predictors would afford some protection in selectivity issues. But, since a GPA may not significantly correlate with norm referenced test results, which measure is the more valid measure? The belief in the validity of norm referenced achievement tests today is strong. However, can we tell if the GPA is a valid measure? Where is the validity data for the teacher made (or chosen) tests on which GPA is calculated? If the teacher made/chosen test is NOT valid, the GPA will not be valid either.

Therefore a marriage between teacher made tests and accountability should take place to insure validity of its offspring, the GPA. For a wedding you need something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Table of Specifications: Insuring Accountability in Teacher Made Tests
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.