Everything you ever wanted to know about setting performance standards on large-scale assessments but were afraid to ask!

Autor(es): Clarke, Marguerite

Date: 2021

Pages: 3 p.

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More and more countries are using large-scale assessments to report on learning levels in their education systems, including on the system-level learning losses produced by COVID-19-related school closures. The content of these assessments is usually aligned with the country’s official learning goals, but also, increasingly, with international goals (e.g., the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for Education [SDG 4]). Countries need to be able to communicate the results from these assessments in a way that clearly shows whether students are achieving the desired learning goals or are falling behind in particular areas. Simply reporting that students scored an average of 70% on a national Grade 3 mathematics assessment, for example, does not provide this critical information. This is where standard setting can be used to give greater meaning to assessment scores and achievement levels. This READ newsletter contribution is a brief introduction to performance standards in the context of national assessments.

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