June 9, 2020 – The National Academy of Education (NAEd) released a new volume on the Comparability of Large-Scale Educational Assessments: Issues and Recommendations. The volume provides guidance to key stakeholders on how to accurately report and interpret comparability assertions concerning large-scale assessments as well as how to ensure greater comparability by paying close attention to key aspects of assessment design, content, and procedures.
Given the decentralized nature of the U.S. education system, this volume provides important insight regarding the dilemma of how much and what types of variation in assessment content and procedures can be allowed, while still maintaining comparability across jurisdictions and student populations. The findings in this report are particularly relevant to state-level educational assessment and accountability decision makers, leaders, and coordinators; assessment consortia members; technical advisors; testing vendors; and education measurement scholars as they grapple with these decisions. Moreover, this volume provides guidance to policy makers who use assessment data to enact legislation and regulations as well as district- and school-level leadership who use data to determine resource allocations. Finally, the report offers greater contextual understanding for those in the media and other groups who use test scores to make comparability determinations.
The project and research was supported by funding from Smarter Balanced/University of California Santa Cruz. The opinions expressed are those of the NAEd and authors and do not represent views of Smarter Balanced/University of California Santa Cruz.