by Carol Fry Bohlin (News Bulletin, May/June 2003)
With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the development and implementation of state accountability systems acquired a new urgency. During the next few months, states will be notified by the U.S. Department of Education regarding the approval status of their accountability plans (final revisions due May 1). Administrators and teachers are spending a considerable amount of time and financial resources in an effort to assist all students in meeting academic standards and in improving their performance on state-mandated assessments.
This "Assessment Issues" column was instituted to present issues and developments in the areas of assessment and accountability. This month, a selection of annotated Web-based resources is offered to facilitate access to current information about these rapidly evolving areas. (Readers are encouraged to e-mail additional Web sites related to assessment and accountability issues to this column's editor at email@example.com).
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
Educational Leadership magazine—ascd.org/frameedlead.html
—The February 2003 issue addressed the topic "Using Data to Improve Student Achievement;" the November 2003 issue will focus on "Responding to the Challenges of Accountability."
Reading Room—ascd.org/readingroom.html—An online search for "assessment" on this site will provide links to ASCD articles and book chapters on this topic.
Council of Chief State School Officers—ccsso.org—This nonprofit organization supports and represents key state educational leaders; the Web site contains information related to accountability systems, state indicators of science and mathematics education, NAEP 2004, and more.
CRESST (National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing)—cresst.org—CSE/CRESST has pioneered the development of scientifically based evaluation and testing techniques, vigorously promoting the accurate use of data, test scores, and technology for improved accountability and decision making.
CRESST Policy Briefs—cresst.org/products/policybriefs_set.htm
—Guidance for policymakers and educators on current subjects, including NCLB.
CRESST Line newsletters—cresst.org/products/newsletters_set.htm—Articles on accountability topics, CRESST research findings, and CRESST events.
Education Week on the Web "Hot Topics"
—Summary essay plus links to related Web sites,
organizations, and reports.
Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC)—enc.org/topics/assessment—Online articles and links to Web-based resources on assessment.
ERIC Database—askeric.org/Eric/adv_search.shtml—The world's largest database for education-related documents and journal articles; users can perform searches related to assessment and related topics.
The Math Forum—mathforum.org/mathed/assessment.html—Provides links to resources related to testing and assessment.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—
nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard—NAEP has tracked the academic performance of U.S. students for more than 30 years. NCLB mandates that every state conduct NAEP mathematics and reading assessments biennially in grades 4 and 8 and at least every four years in grade 12. Results from NAEP 2003 (reading and mathematics) will be released this fall.
State-Level Results for the NAEP 2000 Mathematics Assessment—
Sample NAEP Mathematics Questions—
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance—
ed.gov/offices/OESE/asst.html—Links to legislation and policy guidelines for NCLB and programs implemented under the Improving America's Schools Act.
Standards, Assessment, and Accountability—
ed.gov/offices/OESE/saa—Information on topics such as adequate yearly progress, regulations for standards and assessments (including Title I), and state accountability plans.
Approved State Accountability Plans—
Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation—
ericae.net/pare—Searchable online journal designed "to provide education professionals access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, evaluation, and teaching practice."
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)—
nces.ed.gov/timss—TIMSS provides international comparisons of student achievement in mathematics and science, as well as comparisons of teaching practices and curricula.
Results of TIMSS 1995 and TIMSS 1999 —
Mathematics Concepts and Mathematics Items—
nces.ed.gov/timss/pdf/Math_Concepts_Items.pdf—Includes 82 released mathematics items from the TIMSS 1999 assessment, each accompanied by a scoring guide, as well as international results that indicate the percent of students in each country who answered the question correctly.
"Explore Your Knowledge"—
nces.ed.gov/nceskids/eyk/index.asp?flash=true—Mathematics and science items from TIMSS, formatted so students in grades 4 and 8 can test themselves and compare their responses with those of students in other countries.