Education 102

A number of years ago, the school district where I worked seemed to be concerned with a state regulation requiring teachers to defend their student evaluation by adhering to a written set of criteria. This was my response:

Proving that In response to your list of recommendations for enhancing the legal defensibility of performance assessments, I am submitting the following documentation of my personal assessment criteria that was planned for the academic assessment of each student enrolled in my classes.

Whereas in a maximum effort to follow professional standards in constructing tasks, setting performance standards, and evaluating student performance and disseminate information to relevant publics,

I did consider statutory requirements, including state legislation related to testing, and

I did obtain and follow the advice of a technical advisory committee composed of nationally recognized experts and psychometrics with experience in the assessment technique used, and

I did provide reasonable advance notice of change in assessment – including skills to be tested, question formats, and analysis procedures, and

I did provide extended notice to students with disabilities or limited English proficiency, and

I did avoid or minimize adverse impact on minority groups and individuals while developing procedures for valid and fair assessment of all groups and individuals, and

I did document students’ opportunity to learn assessed material and that material’s job-relatedness, and

I did use enough tasks to adequately sample the domain assessed while using enough raters to demonstrate equitable and impartial scoring, and

I did train raters to apply agreed-upon criteria consistently and accurately while developing a plan to resolve scoring discrepancies as

I did periodically recheck raters’ work, then

I did develop detailed rules and procedures to insure test security, and

I did ensure fairness to all examinees by administering comparable tasks under standardized conditions while randomly auditing procedures for uniformity, and

I did to the best of my professional ability avoid making unsubstantiated claims about the inferences that can be made from performance assessment scores, and

I did provide multiple opportunities for students to pass and remediation for those who, for some reason not yet identified in education research, fail.

Whereas I did these and other things to insure legal defensibility of identified performance assessments for the first student listed in my grade book, and

I did determine that if I did the same for each of the 120 students enrolled in my classes,

I would spend one day in the process of assessment for each student and therefore,

I would have sixty days for cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domain instruction,

That is if none of those days had to be spent in the process of teaching students and their relevant publics the philosophy and appropriateness of my having to spend so much non instructional time

I did indeed follow your recommendations for enhancing the legal defensibility of performance assessments.