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Assessments Used in the K12 Setting

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Assessment strategies likewise play a role in the academic institution’ s future assessment strategies. Separately and taken together, diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment strategies play a role in providing a valid evaluation of a student, teacher, learning institution, and learning population (Guskey, 2003). A standardized test is a statistically reliable, valid, and norm-based assessment that is administered in a consistent manner (Warren, 2010). The uniqueness of standardized tests lies in the fact that it does not measure the outcomes of a particular classroom but was rather designed to be a valid assessment tool that looks into the general skill level for a number of different classrooms.

Prior to administration of a standardized test, it has already been tested itself for its ability to produce consistent results, homogeneity, and measure what it is supposed to measure. In effect, standardized tests measure a test taker’ s capacity against the other members of his or her reference group (Snowman, McCown, & Biehler, 2011). This inherently structural and consistent nature of standardized tests results in both beneficial and shortcomings. The reliance of the federal government on standardized testing was brought about by the establishment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.

Since then, scores from standardized testing determined crucial outcomes such as whether or not a child will be promoted to the next grade or allowed to graduate from high school, the extent of state funding that will be provided to the institution, and school accreditation (Ibid. As such, proponents of standardized testing advocate its use because of the number of studies which have shown the correlation of actual classroom performance and standardized test scores (Martinez, Stecher, & Borko, 2009) and the reliability of standardized test scores in predicting a test taker's performance in future endeavors (Irving & Bell, 2004; Kuncel & Hezlett, 2007).

Advocates of standardized testing likewise believe that educational institutions should be afforded a certain level of accountability in its capacities to deliver the appropriate level of education among its students.  

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