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New Assessments, Better Instruction?

New Assessments, Better Instruction?: Designing Assessment Systems to Promote Instructional Improvement

Susannah Faxon-Mills
Laura S. Hamilton
Mollie Rudnick
Brian M. Stecher
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 61
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  • Book Info
    New Assessments, Better Instruction?
    Book Description:

    This report reviews the literature on how assessment affects teaching practice and the conditions that moderate that relationship. The authors identify a wide variety of effects that testing might have on teachers' activities in the classroom and a number of conditions that affect the impact that assessment may have on practice.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8301-2
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. iv-v)
  4. Figure
    (pp. vi-vi)
  5. Tables
    (pp. vii-vii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. viii-ix)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. x-x)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xi)
  9. 1. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The Hewlett Foundation is committed to promoting “deeper learning” for America’s students—learning that prepares students to master core academic content, think critically and solve complex problems, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, develop positive habits of mind, and learn how to learn (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2013)—and it recognizes that standards and assessment can play a key role in this effort. The Foundation’s view of deeper learning is consistent with many other organizations’ calls to expand and enrich the expectations we hold for students, including calls for teaching 21st century skills and international competence (Saavedra and Opfer, 2012). All...

  10. 2. Methods
    (pp. 5-9)

    To explore the likely influence of new CCSS-aligned assessments on teaching practice and the conditions that moderate that relationship, we conducted a series of literature reviews focusing on the relationship between testing and classroom practice within the following topic areas: (1) high-stakes testing in U.S. public education, (2) performance assessment in U.S. public education, (3) large-scale educational assessment in international settings, particularly in those countries in which schooling is organized in a similar manner as in the U.S., (4) formative assessment and teachers’ use of test results, (5) military and occupational testing, and (6) professional certification and licensure testing. We...

  11. 3. How Educators Respond to Assessment
    (pp. 10-20)

    Research indicates that testing is associated with a variety of changes in educators’ practices (and, as we will discuss in Chapter Four, these changes are influenced by a number of factors). To understand how the widespread adoption of new, CCSS-aligned assessments would be likely to influence students’ experiences in schools and classrooms, it is important to consider the range of common responses to testing and the ways in which these might be shaped by a shift from current testing practices to an approach to assessment that emphasizes deeper learning. In this chapter, we summarize what is known about test-induced changes...

  12. 4. Conditions That Influence Educators’ Responses to Assessment
    (pp. 21-33)

    As Chapter Three shows, research suggests that educators frequently alter their practices in response to assessments, but research also indicates that those changes are mediated by a number of factors. We remarked earlier in the report that much of the research on testing has occurred in the context of accountability, i.e., where there are important consequences associated with test results. In this section we describe the conditions research indicates affect the impact assessments might have on practice. Table 4.1 summarizes the mediating factors identified in our literature review, roughly organized in terms of the conceptual framework discussed earlier in this...

  13. 5. Conclusions
    (pp. 34-38)

    The purpose of our review was to summarize what researchers have learned about the impact of testing on classroom practice and determine what lessons can be drawn about the likely impact of deeper learning assessment. The investigation yielded complex findings. Most of the research examined changes that accompanied test-related policies after they were implemented, limiting causal conclusions. Furthermore, most of the research took place in complex contexts where many factors influenced practice, so it was difficult to attribute changes specifically to some aspect of testing. In addition, variability in how educators responded to tests was evident across different studies as...

  14. References
    (pp. 39-50)