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Topic: Experts report flaws on SAT 9 in CA
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,619
Registered: 12/3/04
Experts report flaws on SAT 9 in CA
Posted: Sep 21, 2000 12:31 PM
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From Substance, September 2000, p.53. See below for information about
the Substance newspaper.
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Experts report flaws

After someone leaked the SAT 9, California's high-stakes exam, to the
Los Angeles Times, UCLA professor James Popham and Bob Schaeffer,
public education director of FairTest, evaluated the tests for the
paper. The experts were highly critical of the contents of the test
and how it is being used, the Times reported on July 14.

"The truth is it's a fundamentally flawed testing system," said
Popham. "Students' scores are almost certain to be meaningfully
contaminated by factors that have little to do with the effectiveness
of a teaching staff's instructional efforts."

California is moving toward the Chicago-model of denying grade
promotion to students and the takeover of schools when student test
scores fall below a Board-determined cutoff. Like the ITBS and the
TAP used in Chicago, the Stanford 9 is norm-referenced, standardized
achievement test.

The test measures inherited aptitudes, rather than what has been
taught at school, Popham explained.

The test cores on the Stanford 9, TAP and ITBS do not show mastery of
a subject matter; they show how students rank on a national
bell-curve. Half of the test takers will be below the national
average. In additional to the misuse of test scores, the exams
themselves are faulty, say experts.

"If the public could look at the content of these exams, people would
be appalled at what's being used to measure educational quality,"
Schaeffer said.

--------------------
Subscriptions to Substance are available for $16 per year by sending
a check or money order to Substance, 5132 W. Berteau Avenue, Chicago,
IL 60641-1440; Phone: ((773) 725-7502; Fax: (773) 725-7503; E-mail:
Csubstance@aol.com. There are11 issues of Substance per year -
monthly, except August.
****************************************************
--
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244
E-mail: jbecker@siu.edu



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