Because the results from state assessments are often used for high stakes purposes, it is important that the assessments themselves are of high quality. In this publication, the authors propose a methodology for evaluating state assessments for summative purposes. They describe their methodology and offer a number of tools that states may use in their assessment evaluations. The author's proposed methods have been reviewed by a broad number of assessment experts from around the country.
The purposes of this publication are well defined and met, using reasonable methodology and expertise. The authors present their evaluation methods in a straightforward, unbiased manner. This is a technical document that is most likely to be used by state departments of education in evaluating the quality of existing state assessments or to help inform the development of new assessments. Communications quality, therefore, is on the technical side, as is the design, which is sparse but useful for its purpose.
I found the section describing the proposed evaluation panelists to be especially helpful. It should contribute to a balanced assessment evaluation. The authors provide a comprehensive evaluation method; however, it is unclear if they have applied it to actual assessments. Nor do they discuss alternative methods. Evidence of effectiveness is not described, but the paper itself, and the very broad number of national experts who contributed ideas, suggests a likely impact on learning.