Summary of CRESST Research

K-12 Testing

New Directions in Student Assessment, the Autumn 1997 issue of Theory Into Practice (V. 36, N. 4), features a series of articles presenting research work done at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), a federally funded research center.


Articles in New Directions provide valuable information on topics such as assessing students in collaborative groups, oral language assessment, the impact of writing assessments on teaching writing, staff development needs, the implications of cognitive research for assessment development, using a learning model as the basis for developing performance assessments, and the need to assess depth of knowledge in subject areas.


Joan Herman's opening piece surveys the problems with traditional tests, the reasons for using performance assessments, and issues with performance assessments that must be addressed. In the concluding piece, Karen Mitchell explores the contradiction between teaching students to think critically in subject areas and the multiple-choice accountability tests students often face. While Herman and Mitchell clearly show why multiple-choice tests won't suffice for accountability, both argue that reformers should recognize that these tests will continue. They call instead for expanding the range of assessments and outcome data so as not to be limited to traditional tests.


-- Available from College of Education, Ohio State Univ., 172 Arps Hall., 1945 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43210. $10.