Construction Versus Choice in Cognitive Measurement: Issues in Constructed Response, Performance Testing, and Portfolio Assessment

By Randy Elliot Bennett; William C. Ward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
12
INNOVATION AND REFORM: EXAMPLES FROM TEACHER ASSESSMENT

Carol Anne Dwyer

Educational Testing Service

Rather than discussing construction versus choice in cognitive measurement for its own sake, I begin this chapter by asserting that we are instead taking part in a broad reform movement that encompasses both education and measurement. We need to understand what goals and assumptions are behind this broader reform context if we are to act in concert with others to improve education, if we fail to act in concert, measurement will once again find itself talking at cross-purposes not only with its critics, but with those we hope to serve. Once again, we will find ourselves deeply embroiled in devising technically sound and logically rigorous measures that will eventually prove off-target with respect to what we and others had hoped to accomplish. Our efforts will ultimately have been fruitless and our conversations frustrating.

The 1980s saw great activity in high-level, officially sanctioned educational reform, and the reform of teaching and teacher assessment was at the heart of much of this activity. Reports such as A Nation at Risk ( National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983), Who Will Teach Our Children? ( California Commission on the Teaching Profession, 1985), A Nation Prepared ( Task Force on Teaching as a Profession, 1986), Tomorrow Schools ( Holmes Group, 1990), and The Educational Reform Decade ( Policy Information Center, 1990) showed the depth of public concern over the quality of teaching and learning in America, and the thirst for educational reform, in the sections that follow, the forces behind this drive for reform are discussed, particularly their interrelationships with teaching and teacher assessment. I take the current call for "authentic assessment" as an example of an attempt to translate broad educational

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