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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Three Interpretative Frameworks: Assessment of English Language Arts-Writing in the Common Core State Standards Initiative

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

We present three interpretative frameworks by which stakeholders can analyze curricular and assessment decisions related to the Common Core State Standards Initiative in English Language Arts-Writing (CCSSI ELA-W). We pay special attention to the assessment efforts of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Informed by recent work in educational measurement and writing assessment communities, the first framework is a multidisciplinary conceptual analysis of the targeted constructs in the CCSSI ELA-W and their potential measurement. The second framework is provided by the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (2014) with a primary focus on foundational principles of validity, reliability/precision, and fairness. The third framework is evidence-centered design (ECD), a principled design approach that supports coherent evidentiary assessment arguments. We first illustrate how Standards-based validity arguments and ECD practices have been integrated into assessment work for the CCSSI ELA-W using Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessment reports. We then demonstrate how all three frameworks provide complementary perspectives that can help stakeholders ask principled questions of score interpretation and use.

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