Validating high stakes testing programs

A major strand of his research examines the effects of high-stakes testing, including score inflation and the instructional responses to testing that generate it. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 71-91.,(2008)Koretz, D. The pending reauthorization of NCLB: An opportunity to rethink the basic strategy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 9-26.,(2008)Koretz, D. Further steps toward the development of an accountability-oriented science of measurement .

His current research (Educational Accountability Project), examines the equity effects of test-based accountability, the effects of testing on postsecondary performance and other later outcomes, the characteristics of traditional tests that encourage inappropriate test preparation, and the design and evaluation of new testing designs tailored for accountability. Test-based educational accountability: Research evidence and implications.

Since the 1970s, policymakers have relied on test-based accountability (TBA) as a primary tool for improving student achievement and for reducing racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps. American Educator, Fall, 18-27, 39.,(2008)Koretz, D. Evaluating the limitations of current assessment systems, including the features of tests that are most vulnerable to inflation and the types of schools and students most affected by inflation, so that these problems can be lessened in new designs.2. Developing and evaluating new approaches for validating inferences based on scores on tests used for accountability.3. Designing new, research-based approaches to assessment to lessen the unwanted side-effects of TBA and increase the desired effects, evaluating their validity, and using the results of this ongoing research to develop needed modifications. Although this work addresses issues of national importance, it uses student-by-test-item data from three states—New York, Massachusetts, and Texas—because assessments are currently state-specific.

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