Guidance on Standards, Assessments, and Accountability
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Example: Multiple Measures/Approaches

A State uses multiple-choice items, two open-ended tasks, and a student portfolio to measure its content standards in mathematics at Grade 7.

Multiple-choice test

The multiple choice test consists of 60 items assessing five content standards: algebra, probability and statistics, geometry, measurement, and number concepts. The items are "enhanced" multiple-choice, requiring students to apply concepts in order to choose the correct answer. The test is administered under standardized on-demand conditions.

Open-ended tasks

Each of the two tasks requires students to apply concepts from one or more of the content standards assessed by the multiple-choice test. Responses on each task are scored for three content standards: communication, problem solving, and reasoning. The tasks are administered under standardized on-demand conditions, in conjunction with the multiple-choice test.


Each seventh-grade student produces a portfolio containing six pieces of work generated in the course of daily classroom activities, demonstrating his/her achievement of the State’s content standards. Consistency in portfolio contents is maintained through the use of information provided to teachers, including--

  • criteria for content coverage (e.g., the pieces must cover State content standards in algebra, probability and statistics, geometry, measurement, number concepts, communication, problem solving, and reasoning);

  • types of products to include (e.g., descriptions of tasks, responses to tasks, demonstration of revision, explanation of importance of each piece);

  • scoring criteria;

  • sample tasks that can be incorporated into instruction; and

  • guidelines for developing portfolio tasks.

All teachers are trained in the portfolio scoring process.


The State scores the multiple-choice test. Teachers from across the State attend a scoring session to score the open-ended tasks and a sample of student portfolios from each school. At the classroom level, each teacher scores all of his/her students’ portfolios. These scores are sent to the State for inclusion on student score reports. Individual student results from the sample of portfolios scored at the State level are returned to the schools. Schools and the State review the state- and school-generated scores to assist in documenting and maintaining scoring consistency.

Example (Cont.): Multiple Measures/Approaches


Student-level reports include--

  • overall proficiency level in mathematics, referenced to the State’s four performance standards, based on combined performance on the multiple-choice items and open-ended tasks;

  • for the multiple-choice test, an overall score and a score for each of the five content standards measured by the test;

  • for the open-ended tasks, an overall score and a score for each of the three content standards assessed by the tasks; and

  • for the portfolio, overall proficiency in mathematics referenced to the State’s performance standards and a score for each of the eight content areas assessed by the portfolio.

    At the school, district, and State levels, the scores reported by the State include--

  • the proportion of students meeting each of the State’s performance standards, based on the combined multiple-choice/open-ended measures;

  • the proportion of students meeting each of the State’s performance standards, based on the sample of portfolios scored by the State; and

  • scores on each of the State’s content standards, based on the three measures.

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Last Modified: 10/10/2003