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Document Number: 3635

Toward a Framework for Validating Gains Under High-Stakes Conditions - It's not clear what student score increases mean in a high-stakes environment -- a problem with using them to determine rewards, sanctions or student promotion status. It's important to make sure that gains in test scores reflect gains in student learning, not just "teaching to the test." This technical report classifies different types of test preparation -- some of which provide meaningful test gains (teaching more, working harder and more effectively) and some that don't (narrowing the curriculum, coaching on specific content and test-taking strategies, and cheating). It also provides a framework for making sure test gains are valid. (Daniel Koretz, CRESST/Harvard Graduate School of Education; and Daniel McCaffrey and Laura Hamilton, CRESST/RAND Education, December 2001)...

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