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3. The Nature of the Gap
Pages 16-18

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From page 16...
... The gaps considered at the workshop include those between: large-scale and classroom assessments; formative assessments, designed to enhance learning, and summative assessments, designed to evaluate student performance; the goals of assessment for accountability and assessment for learning; the complexity of the science of large-scale assessment and the professional development provided for teachers on the topic; the rich potential of classroom assessment strategies and the professional development and time available for teachers to take advantage of it; the curriculum dictated by state and district standards and the classroom preparation made necessary by external assessments; the data provided by many large-scale assessments and teachers' day-today needs for information about their students; the ambitious goals identified in most standards documents and the time available to address them in the classroom; the knowledge and skills identified in standards documents as important to master and the content that can be assessed using currently available large-scale instruments; 16
From page 17...
... As teachers detect the absence of particular content from the test, they are likely to lessen their emphasis on it and turn to other material that is tested. Finally, Popham argued, because traditionally constructed achievement tests strive to create sufficient score-spread to permit accurate comparative interpretations to be made, many of the items that are included for the purpose of spreading students out are linked to students' 1 The American Association of School Administrators, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, and National Middle School Association.
From page 18...
... While Popham saw the gap in terms of the way standards are defined, it was clear that participants found numerous ways of defining it, and, as noted, few were comfortable with a single formulation. Indeed, elaboration of the possible sources and characteristics of the gap was a recurring theme, particularly in the question and answer sessions following many of the presentations.

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