Testing Reduction Report

This report provides a number of recommendations to address important assessment issues in New York state. These issues include: test anxiety, assessment quality, and too much testing. The authors recommend the release of more test questions, greater use of adaptive testing, additional guidance to the field warning about the negative effects of test preparation, and assessment literacy coursework for teacher certification. 

 

Content Comments 

This report provides an informative overview of issues that many states and the federal government are facing regarding issues of too much testing, test anxiety, and assessment quality. The authors clearly describe their purposes and provide a reasonable approach to address each issue. However, the report fails to provide substantial evidence that their recommendations will lead to their intended outcomes. For example, their recommendations to reduce testing include: 1) increase funding to eliminate stand alone multiple choice tests, 2) implement adaptive testing, and 3) embed performance-based tasks. None of these necessarily reduces testing. In fact, performance-based tasks often increase testing time and increase scoring costs. Nevertheless, this report will likely have high utility for other states that are confronting the same issues.

Pages 13–14 are likely the most informative for readers. Communications quality is acceptable, recognizing that this is an education report. Evidence of effectiveness is not provided; in fact it is a shortcoming. However, the high utility value suggests that this report be added to the CSAI resource library.