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Examination of the potential of selected norm -referenced tests and selected locally developed criterion -referenced tests to classify students into performance categories

Renee Y Jacobson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to evaluate selected norm-referenced assessments (NRA) developed by achievement test publishers and selected criterion-referenced assessments (CRA) developed by teachers in Nebraska schools as of the spring of 2003. The study measured the sufficiency of the sampled assessments that aligned with selected Nebraska L.E.A.R.N.S. reading and math content standards to categorize student performance into two-level proficient or not proficient categories, and into four-level beginning, progressing, proficient, and advanced performance categories. ^ This study was an effort to evaluate the status of the CRA work-in-progress in the spring of 2003, and to make general sufficiency comparisons between the published NRAs and locally developed CRAs with regard to their capacity to assess student performance on selected Nebraska reading and mathematics content standards. ^ Norm-referenced and criterion-reference assessments evaluated in this study were able to categorize student performance levels for the selected reading and mathematics content standards. Published NRAs and locally-developed CRAs both had the capacity to distinguish student performance into proficient or not proficient. Both NRAs and CRAs were less sufficient at assessing four-level student performance. ^ NRAs and CRAs both sufficiently assessed student performance on reading content standards for the two-level performance categories (proficient or not proficient), but NRAs and CRAs were both less sufficient in assessing four-level student reading performance. In 2003 NRAs demonstrated stronger sufficiency in categorizing two-level student reading performance and somewhat stronger sufficiency in categorizing four-level student reading performance than CRAs demonstrated. ^ In 2003 student performance on mathematics content standards was assessed more sufficiently by NRAs for two-level performance at fourth grade and eighth grade. NRAs and CRAs were equivalent in assessing two-level student math performance for twelfth grade. Four-level math performance categorizations were more sufficiently assessed by NRAs for fourth grade mathematics. However, CRAs more sufficiently assessed four-level math performance at the eighth grade and twelfth grade. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Jacobson, Renee Y, "Examination of the potential of selected norm -referenced tests and selected locally developed criterion -referenced tests to classify students into performance categories" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3303721.