Steps and Purposes of Standardized Achievement Testing
One frequent use of standardized achievement tests is to identify students who perform below, at the same level, or above their peers. That is, the utility of achievement test results in the screening process is in identifying students who need further assessment. Examples of achievement tests to use for screening are the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Peabody Individual Achievement Test–Revised/Normative Update.
Using standardized achievement tests in conjunction with other types of tests can help determine eligibility for services. For example, using the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Second Edition (WIAT–II), with a measure of cognitive ability can help determine eligibility for services.
Program planning and monitoring student progress connect instruction with assessment. Achievement tests can aid in instructional planning and can be helpful in identifying what the student knows and can do. Two useful tests for program planning are the Peabody Individual Achievement Test–Revised/NU and the KeyMath–Revised/NU. The teacher can also utilize other assessment approaches discussed in this chapter to assist with program planning.
Regularly monitoring students' progress in literacy, mathematics, and other academic content areas is important. Norm-referenced tests may not be as useful in monitoring progress as are other assessment approaches because they are not sensitive to small changes in performance. Frequent monitoring assists the teacher in modifying instruction to meet the needs of the student. As with program planning, the teacher may also use other assessment approaches discussed in this chapter.
Teachers and other professionals employ achievement tests to conduct two types of program evaluation: individual student programs as specified in an IEP and, more broadly, the progress that a class, grade, school, or the school district itself has made over a period of time.
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