Assessment Issues competency questions account for about 8% of the entire test.
Concepts to Know
Let’s take a look at some concepts that may appear on the test.
Cultural and Linguistic Bias
- Cultural bias- the event of judging or interpreting information by standards associated with one’s native culture.
Cultural bias can influence a teacher’s instruction, attitude, and behavioral expectations.
For example, a test question asked African American students to infer where a man, who was standing on a corner in a suit, was going. The test writers, who were caucasian, agreed the correct answer was “work.” However, the majority of African American students thought that the man was probably going to church (Perry and Delpit, 1998).
- Linguistic bias- at all levels of education, teachers will many times favor students who sound like themselves and can be biased against students who speak a different language. This bias can potentially affect how a teacher talks to a student and the expectations the teacher has for the student; it can even cause a teacher to stereotype or discriminate against a student.
For example, when creating an assessment, teachers should only include vocabulary and language that was used/taught in class. Including idioms or phrases that are probably only familiar to native speakers will not be a fair assessment for ELLs.
In Florida, students who require specially designed instruction and/or related services are called exceptional students. The services these students receive are called exceptional student education or ESE services.
The following are eligible conditions for ESE services:
- deaf or hard-of-hearing
- emotional or behavioral disabilities
- homebound or hospitalized
- intellectual disability
- language impairment
- other health impairment
- orthopedic impairment
- specific learning disability
- traumatic brain injury
- visual impairment
A team of people make decisions about the ESE services a student will receive. A student must meet eligibility requirements to receive ESE services, and the referral process, which is based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, includes:
- A referral request for a formal review is made. This includes detailed information about the student’s learning needs, strengths, weaknesses, health information, and interests.
- The team determines whether or not additional evaluation is required to determine eligibility.
- If additional evaluation is recommended, the evaluation moves forward with interviewing teachers and parents. Diagnostic assessments are given by specialists which could include interventionists, diagnosticians, and/or psychologists. Parents must sign a consent form before evaluation can begin.
- If it is determined that a student meets eligibility requirements, the team (including the parents) meet to discuss what services will best fit the needs of the student.
Formal versus Informal Assessments
Formal and informal assessments are important tools throughout the learning process.
Formal assessments (summative assessments) should take place after many opportunities for learning/practice and can include:
- standardized tests
- data that is compared
- structured testing environments
Informal assessments (formative assessments) should take place throughout the learning process, and instruction should be adjusted based on the results of the informal assessment. Informal assessments can include:
- non-standardized tests
- observation and interviews
- normal classroom environments
- no data taken
And that’s some basic info about the Assessment Issues competency.