It goes without saying you would never assess a 3rd grade student or their teacher by using 7th and 8th grade math questions. I think it is a statement that everyone (reformers included) would agree with.
In English Language Arts tests, the grade level appropriateness of text used is a gray area. Some would argue that it is perfectly fine for third graders to be assessed using texts with readability levels of 5th and 6th graders. But even the champions of rigor must adhere to the golden rule of testing- the questions MUST be written on the grade level you are attempting to assess. It only makes sense. Students can’t answer questions that they do not understand. These tests are constructed for ALL students in a given grade level and therefore it is imperative that the questions are grade appropriate.
As a former test developer for Pearson, PARCC, CTB, and NYSED we…
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