Educational assessment and, more broadly, educational research in the United States have entered into an era characterized by a dramatic increase in the prevalence and importance of test score use in accountability systems.

This volume covers a selection of contemporary issues about testing science and practice that impact the nation's public education system, including local and state assessment development, assessing special populations, charter schools, and the role of college placement and entrance examinations. Also featured is a section focusing on validation practices, defining, and interpreting resulting test scores. Specific topics include the role of examinee motivation, obtaining and making decisions based on validity evidence, evidence of consequences, and considering contextual sampling effects when evaluating validity evidence.

This text is for measurement practitioners, scholars, and advanced graduate students involved in researching and implementing practice and policies for high stakes testing. It will serve as a valuable reference for practitioners and an excellent resource for graduate level seminars in high stakes testing.

Table of Contents



James A. Bovaird, Kurt F. Geisinger, and Chad W. Buckendahl

  1. Current State of High-Stakes Testing in Education
    Barbara S. Plake

I. Current Issues in Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Assessment

  1. Local Development of a High-Stakes Assessment Program: Lessons Learned and Research Results Gained
    John Crawford and Patricia Crum
  2. Setting Performance Standards on Alternate Assessments for Students With Disabilities
    Abdullah A. Ferdous, Sue Bechard, and Chad W. Buckendahl
  3. Assessing English Language Skills in Education: Implications for Students With Limited English Proficiency
    Anja Römhild and James A. Bovaird
  4. Student Achievement and Adequate Yearly Progress Within the Indiana Charter School System
    W. Holmes Finch, Brian F. French, and Mary Baker
  5. Revising a Large-Scale College Placement Examination Program: Innovation Within Constraints
    Kristen Huff and Gerald J. Melican
  6. A Role for College Admissions Tests in State Assessment Programs
    Sherri Miller and Jay Happel

II. Validity Considerations: Test Use and Consequences of Test Scores

  1. Finding Validity Evidence: An Analysis Using the Mental Measurements Yearbook
    Gregory J. Cizek, Heather K. Koons, and Sharyn L. Rosenberg
  2. A Model of Examinee Test-Taking Effort
    Steven L. Wise and Lisa F. Smith
  3. Validity Arguments for High-Stakes Testing and Accountability Systems
    Deborah L. Bandalos, Amanda E. Ferster, Susan L. Davis, and Karen M. Samuelsen
  4. Testing and Measurement From a Multilevel View: Psychometrics and Validation
    Bruno D. Zumbo and Barry Forer
  5. A High-Stakes Use of Intelligence Testing: A Forensic Case Study
    Chad W. Buckendahl and Brett P. Foley
  6. High-Stakes Education Research: Enhanced Scrutiny of the Education System and Its Consequences
    James A. Bovaird and Natalie A. Koziol

III. Looking Ahead

  1. The Future of High-Stakes Testing in Education
    Kurt F. Geisinger


About the Editors

Editor Bios

James A. Bovaird, PhD, is an assistant professor of educational psychology and director of the Statistics and Research Methodology Unit of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In addition, he is a co-principal investigator for the National Center for Research on Rural Education funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and director of its Statistics and Methodology Core.

Dr. Bovaird's research focuses on methodological applications and innovations in the use of advanced multivariate techniques in the social sciences, particularly in evaluating intervention efficacy through an ecological perspective. He is the primary statistician on several currently funded randomized control trials and has significant experience collaborating with colleagues in the behavioral, social, and education sciences, especially with designs requiring longitudinal, multilevel, and structural equation modeling.

His research has appeared in methodological journals including Structural Equation Modeling, Behavior Research Methods, and Educational and Psychological Measurement and in substantive journals such as Early Education and Development, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, and Exceptional Children. He has contributed numerous pedagogical chapters on methodological topics as well as coedited the volume Modeling Contextual Effects in Longitudinal Studies.

Dr. Bovaird is a member of the American Educational Research Association, the Psychometric Society, the National Rural Education Association, and APA, where he is currently secretary of APA's Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics).

Kurt F. Geisinger, PhD, is director of the Buros Center on Testing and W. C. Meierhenry Distinguished University Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He has previously been professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Fordham University, professor of psychology and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Oswego, professor of psychology and academic vice president at LeMoyne College, and professor of psychology and vice president for academic affairs at the University of St. Thomas.

He has been a delegate representing APA at and chair of the Joint Committee on Testing Practices (1992–1996); a member of APA's Committee on Psychological Testing and Assessment; chair of the National Council on Measurement in Education's (NCME) Professional Development and Training Committee; cochair of NCME's Program Committee (1994); chair of the Graduate Record Examination Board; chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Graduate Record Examination; a member of the Scholastic Assessment Test Advisory Committee; a member of NCME's Ad Hoc Committee to Develop a Code of Ethical Standards; a representative of the American Educational Research Association, APA, and NCME on the International Standards Organization's first venture into setting international testing standards; advisor to the Council of Chief State School Officer's State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards on assessment in career technical education; and a member of numerous other ad hoc task forces and panels.

He is presently editor of Applied Measurement in Education and is currently serving on or has served on the editorial committees for the International Journal of Testing, Educational and Psychological Measurement, the College Board Review, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Psychological Assessment, Practical Assessment: Research and Evaluation, the Journal of Educational Research, and Improving College and University Teaching. He has edited or coedited the Psychological Testing of Hispanics and Test Interpretation and Diversity, as well as the 17th and 18th Mental Measurements Yearbooks. He has been named editor in chief of the APA Handbook of Testing and Assessment in Psychology series.

Chad W. Buckendahl, PhD, is a senior psychometrician with Alpine Testing Solutions in Orem, Utah. He previously served as director of the Buros Institute for Assessment Consultation and Outreach at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. His research interests are applied psychometrics, including alignment, standard setting, and legal and policy issues.

Dr. Buckendahl provides psychometric and related policy consultation and leads validation and research projects for local, state, and federal educational testing programs. He also consults with licensure and professional certification testing programs in dentistry, dental hygiene, education, and the law.

He was a principal investigator for the 2004–2009 evaluation of the National Assessment of Educational Progress and a chapter coauthor for edited books including Handbook of Testing Development, Assessment of Higher Order Thinking Skills, and Defending Standardized Testing.

Dr. Buckendahl has previously served on committees for membership, program, and outreach for the NCME and as an associate editor of Applied Measurement in Education. He currently serves as a psychometric reviewer for the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and coeditor of the Journal of Applied Testing Technology.

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