Archived InformationState of the Art: Reading - November 1993
(Stiggins and Conklin 1992, p. 3)
The role of standardized tests in the literacy program is likely to remain important. Because state and local school districts are likely to continue using norm-referenced, standardized tests to evaluate literacy programs, state tests and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are undergoing substantial changes. The majority of these changes involve creating authentic assessments--appraisals that account for critical aspects of reading and that parallel everyday reading tasks. Changes that are moving assessment closer to simulating authentic reading tasks include: using unabridged text directly from the original source for assessing meaning construction; accounting for students' prior knowledge before reading; incorporating samples (portfolios) of student work; and making student self-assessment part of the standardized testing program.
Literacy assessments done in the classroom that involve performance
tasks are beginning to provide valuable information needed to
direct instructional decision making. Many teachers are turning to
portfolio assessments that include multiple measures taken over
time of individual students' reading and writing. Well-constructed
portfolios contain samples of student work, including
representative pieces of work in progress and exceptional pieces,
students' reflection about their work, and evaluation criteria.
For example, pieces of students' writing in which they share their
thinking and feeling about their reading--text analyses from their
own point of view--may be included in portfolios. Creating and
using performance assessments as alternatives and/or supplements to
norm-referenced tests are helping to transform reading instruction
and learning in today's state-of-the-art classroom.