Innovative Assessment

Center Associate Susan Lyons, who has been leading the technical analyses for New Hampshire's innovative assessment system, just published a paper describing this work with co-author and former Center intern, Carla Evans, in the prestigious journal Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice.

The purpose of this study was to test methods to strengthen the comparability claims about annual determinations of student proficiency in English language arts, math, and science (grades 3-12) in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment of Competency Education (NH PACE) pilot project. First, we examined the literature in order to define comparability outside the bounds of strict score interchangeability and explored methods for estimating comparability that support a balanced assessment system for state accountability such as the NH PACE pilot. Second, we applied two strategies—consensus scoring and a rank-ordering method—to estimate comparability in Year 1 of the NH PACE pilot based upon the expert judgment of 85 teachers using 505 student work samples. We found the methods were effective for providing evidence of comparability and also detecting when threats to comparability were present. The evidence did not indicate meaningful differences in district average scoring stringency and leniency in scoring and therefore did not support adjustments to district-level cut scores for “annual determinations.” The paper concludes with a discussion of the technical challenges and opportunities associated with innovative, balanced assessment systems in an accountability context.

Link to the full article here:
Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice