Defending Standardized Testing

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, March 2005


  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Reviews
  • Where to Purchase
  • About the Authors

  • -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Defending Standardized Testing (Lawrence Erlbaum, March 2005)

    The education reform movement of the past two decades has focused on raising academic standards. Some standards advocates attach a testing mechanism to gauge the extent to which high standards are actually accomplished, whereas some critics accuse the push for standards and testing of impeding reform and perpetuating inequality. At the same time, the testing profession has produced advances in the format, accuracy, dependability, and utility of tests. Never before has obtaining such an abundance of accurate and useful information about student learning been possible. Meanwhile, the American public remains steadfast in support of testing to measure student performance and monitor the performance of educational systems.

    Many educational testing experts who acknowledge the benefits of testing also believe that those benefits have been insufficiently articulated. Although much has been written on standardized testing policy, most of the published material has been written by opponents. The contributing authors of this volume are both accomplished researchers and practitioners who are respected and admired worldwide. They bring to the project an abundance of experience working with standardized tests.

    The goal of Defending Standardized Testing is to:

  • describe current standardized testing policies and strategies;
  • explain many of the common criticisms of standardized testing;
  • document the public support for, and the realized benefits of, standardized testing;
  • acknowledge the limitations of, and suggest improvements to, testing practices;
  • provide guidance for structuring testing programs in light of public preference and the No Child Left Behind Act; and
  • present a defense of standardized testing and a practical vision for its promise and future.

  • Defending Standardized Testing minimizes the use of technical jargon so as to appeal to all who have a stake in American education reform.

    ISBN: 0805849114 cloth # 0805849122 paper





    "Defending Standardized Testing is an easy to read book, and the topics are even easier to follow. I think this is mainly because of the logical and meaningful way the editor chose to organize the information. This book provides a balanced approach to understanding the role of testing in general and standardized testing in particular. It will help the reader identify and understand some of the current debates within the community of testing experts."
    Fawzy Ebrahim

    "...very much worth buying and reading. My hope is that this volume is but the first one on the topic..."
    Howard Wainer, National Board of Medical Examiners, Wharton School of Commerce and Finance (U. Penn)
    Journal of Educational Measurement

    "A vision of how standardised testing can be used to benefit future teaching and learning is presented by a range of contributors. The editor addresses and explains common criticisms, and documents public support for standardised assessment. The book outlines a range of standardised assessment strategies and practices, and seeks to explain their benefits as well as limitations and possible improvements. With reference to assessment in the USA, it offers guidance on how to structure and administer large-scale testing programs in light of public preferences and the No Child Left Behind Act. The effect of standardised testing on ethnic minorities and disabled students is explored."
    Curriculum Leadership, 4(38)

    "Although the American public is in favor of it, and it is also part of the administration of the No Child Left Behind Act, it would appear that the majority of professions in the field doubt if standardized testing is of much value in education. According to the contributors of these 12 essays, many objections to standardized testing are based on emotion or self-interest. They admit that standardized testing has limitations and suggest improvements but also maintain that the data from standardized testing is valuable at many levels. Coverage includes the history of standardized testing, the special case of high-stakes testing, the literature on benefits, misconceptions, typically unasked questions, 'teaching to the test,' and issues of ethnicity, disability and school accountability."
    Annotation �2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

    "The literature on standardized testing is dominated by criticism that standardization perpetuates inequality and inhibits reform. This collection documents public support for testing to measure student achievement and to guage education systems. It avers the increased efficiency and utility of standardized instruments and attempts to more clearly articulate their advantages."
    Center for Instructional Materials and Computing, U. Wisconsin



    Available at your friendly neighborhood virtual bookstore, or through eBooks

    Alibris # Amazon # Barnes&Noble # BlackwellsUSA # Powells # Sploope # Tattered Cover # AbeBooks

    From textbook distributors:
    TextbookX # Textbooks R Us #

    Available outside the USA at:
    (United Kingdom) Amazon UK # Blackwell�s # Fishpond




    Mary Lyn Bourque is Director of Mid-Atlantic Psychometric Services where, among other duties, she works with state programs on their assessment systems and state standards. For over a decade Bourque was the chief psychometrician for the National Assessment Governing Board, the independent board overseeing the National Assessment of Educational Progress, where she was responsible for standards alignment and performance-level setting. She is active in the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), has served on the Board, and chaired several standing committees. She has taught at the secondary and collegiate/graduate level and has authored several publications in the areas of standard setting and large scale assessments.

    Chad W. Buckendahl, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Director of the Buros Institute for Assessment Consultation and Outreach, a division of the Oscar and Luella Buros Center for Testing. Dr. Buckendahl has worked with Buros since 1998 and received his Ph.D. in Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Education from the University of Nebraska � Lincoln in 2000. His expertise is primarily in the areas of state assessment and accountability, legal issues in testing, standard setting, and licensure/certification testing. He has consulted with educational testing programs in Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota; licensure testing programs in education, dentistry, and law; and assisted in the development of an accreditation program for proprietary tests.

    Gregory Cizek [Home Page] is Professor of Educational Measurement and Evaluation at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Editor of Setting Performance Standards and the Handbook of Educational Policy, and author of Cheating on Tests: How to Do It, Detect It, and Prevent It, Filling in the Blanks: Putting Standardized Tests to the Test, and Test Anxiety: Addressing the Fear Factor in a High Stakes Environment (2005, Corwin Press). Cizek also serves as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Testing Practices.

    Linda Crocker is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Education at the University of Florida, and the co-author of Introduction to Classical and Modern Test Theory. She currently serves as President of the National Council on Measurement in Education, on the Graduate Records Examinations Executive Board and its Research Committee, and as Vice President of the American Educational Research Association's Division D (Measurement and Research Methodology). She is also the former editor of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice.

    George Cunningham is Professor of Education and Counseling Psychology at the University of Louisville and a member of the Education Consumers Consultants Network. He has authored several textbooks on educational measurement, and frequently consults with state government agencies regarding testing program design. Cunningham specializes in research on statewide assessments of achievement, evolutionary biology, and comparative methods of instruction.

    John J. Fremer is Co-founder and President of Caveon Test Security, Caveon Test Security. His primary areas of expertise are test security, national testing program development, testing standards, trends in testing, and communicating about testing to various audiences. Dr. Fremer is a past president and Chair of the Board of Directors of the industry-wide Association of Test Publishers. He is a past president of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) and the Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education (AACE). He also chaired the Joint Committee on Testing Practicesand its working group that developed the Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education, one of the most widely cited documents in educational testing.

    Kurt Geisinger is Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Thomas. His research analyzes developments in testing accommodations for students with various types of physical and cognitive disabilities, or low levels of language proficiency, and how these practices are changing with the use of computers to deliver tests. Geisinger, who is also an expert in test validity, served on the Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities Workgroup of the Joint Committee on Testing Practices.

    Ronald Hambleton holds the title of Distinguished University Professor and is Chairperson of the Research and Evaluation Methods Program and Executive Director of the Center for Educational Assessment at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is co-author of several textbooks including Fundamentals of Item Response Theory, and Item Response Theory: Principles and Applications (with H. Swaminathan and H. Jane Rogers), and co-editor of the Handbook of Modern Item Response Theory (with Wim van der Linden), and Adaptation of Educational and Psychological Tests for Cross-Cultural Assessment (with Peter Merenda and Charles Spielberger). Hambleton has received honorary doctorates from Umea University in Sweden and the University of Oviedo in Spain, the 1994 National Council on Measurement in Education Career Award, and the 2003 Association of Test Publishers National Award for Contributions to Computer-Based Testing. Professor Hambleton is a frequent consultant to state departments of education, national government agencies, and credentialing organizations.

    Robert R. Hunt, Ph.D., VP of Product Development and General Counsel, Caveon Test Security.; General Counsel, Performance Testing Council. Dr. Hunt earned his J.D. and Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy from the University of Utah. With experience as an attorney and in the management of IT certification programs and tests, at Caveon Dr. Hunt helps testing programs to suppress cheating and the piracy of test content through the application of data gathering and forensic analyses, legal planning and targeted legal action.

    Richard P. Phelps [Home Page] taught secondary school mathematics in Burkina Faso (West Africa); and worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, the U.S. General Accounting Office, Westat, National Evaluation Systems, and Indiana's Education Department. Phelps is the editor and co-author of Correcting Fallacies about Educational and Psychological Testing (APA Books 2008), the author of Kill the Messenger: The War on Standardized Testing (Transaction 2003, 2005, 2007) and Standardized Testing Primer (Peter Lang 2007), and the lead author of Education in States and Nations, Higher Education: An International Perspective, State Indicators in Education and Features of Occupational Programs at the Secondary and Postsecondary Levels. He has been awarded research fellowships from the Educational Testing Service, the American Education Finance Association, and the National Center for Education Statistics.

    Barbara Plake is W.C. Meierhenry University Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Measurement at the University of Nebraska, co-editor of Applied Measurement in Education and the Mental Measurements Yearbook, past president of the National Council on Measurement in Education, and Director of the world-famous Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.

    David Rogosa is Associate Professor, School of Education, Department of Statistics (by courtesy), and Department of Health Research and Policy, Division of Biostatistics (by courtesy) at Stanford University. His research interests include Statistics in Behavioral Sciences, Longitudinal Research, and Educational Assessment.

    Stephen G. Sireci [Home Page] is Director of the Center for Educational Assessment and Professor in the Research and Evaluation Methods Program in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has held positions of responsibility with the Newark Board of Education, the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants, and the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education. Professor Sireci specializes in evaluating test fairness, particularly issues related to content validity, test bias, and sensitivity review. He is the author of over 100 publications and paper presentations and co-editor of the Journal of Applied Testing Technology.