Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing
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From the Publisher: “In Fall 2007, the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English appointed a Joint Task Force on Assessment to update the Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing the two organizations published originally in 1994. The revised document aims to improve the quality of assessment by providing standards to guide decisions about assessing the teaching and learning of literacy in 21st-Century classrooms.”
The purposes of this publication are well described and generally met. The publishers are to be commended for putting the entire resource online at no cost. Some of the standards that take strong stands are arguable. For example, saying that the primary purpose of assessment is to improve teaching and learning, while perhaps an ideal vision, does not differentiate between types of assessment – especially summative assessments, which in most cases are used for accountability purposes, and formative, which indeed are used to improve teaching and learning. Communications quality is acceptable; however, the text could be improved by using a larger font size, and some of the standards are a bit lengthy. In one case a standard uses five conjunctions in a single sentence. The publishers may be overstating their audiences by including parents and school board members. This publication is better suited to assessment developers, researchers, and perhaps some educators.