Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know

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9780205154296: Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know

Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Knowis a brief, practical guide to assessment issues raised in classrooms. In a friendly, often humorous way, James Popham illustrates the relationship between classroom assessment and the daily instructional decisions a teacher must make. In addition to addressing more traditional issues such as validity and reliability, this book also provides coverage of alternative assessments.

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From the Back Cover:

Most teachers will agree that one of the most difficult issues they must grapple with on a daily basis regards assessment. How are teachers to evaluate their students? What is the fair way? The most productive way? And the way that will benefit all involved? And how do teachers explain assessment issues to parents? These questions are as fundamental to today's classroom as the answers are difficult to forge. This book is thus intended to help classroom teachers deal with assessment on a daily basis, promoting the idea that the results of assessment activities should improve the quality of the decisions they make about their own students. This book presents a practical set of guidelines for teachers regarding the daily decisions they must face. In an easy-to-read, humor-filled format, the book strongly emphasizes the link between assessment and instruction. It focuses on that which is truly critical for teachers to know about testing their students in a friendly, non-threatening fashion. The Chapter Summaries, Self-Check exercises and Pondertime questions in each chapter highlight important points, providing thought-provoking questions to key educational assessment issues. Topics include validity, reliability of assessment, absence of bias, and portfolio assessment. Teachers and educational administrators.

About the Author:

W. James Popham has spent the bulk of his educational career as a teacher. His first teaching assignment, for example, was in a small eastern Oregon high school where he taught English and social studies while serving as yearbook advisor, class sponsor, and unpaid tennis coach. That recompense meshed ideally with the quality of his coaching. Most of Dr. Popham's teaching career took place at UCLA where, for nearly 30 years, he taught courses in instructional methods for prospective teachers as well as courses in evaluation and measurement for graduate students. At UCLA he won several distinguished teaching awards. In January 2000, he was recognized by UCLA Today as one of UCLA's top 20 professors of the 20th century. (He notes that the 20th century was a full-length century, unlike the current abbreviated one.) In 1992, he took early retirement from UCLA upon learning that emeritus professors received free parking. Because at UCLA he was acutely aware of the perishability of professors who failed to publish, he spent his non-teaching hours affixing words to paper. The result: over 25 books, 200 journal articles, 50 research reports, and 175 papers presented before research societies. Although not noted in his official vita, while at UCLA he also authored 1,426 grocery lists. His most recent books are Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know, 4th Ed. (2005) and Assessment for Educational Leaders (2006), Allyn & Bacon; The Truth About Testing: An Educator's Call to Action (2001) and Test Better, Teach Better: the Instructional Role of Assessment (2003), ASCD; America's "Failing" Schools: How Parents and Teachers Can Cope with No Child Left Behind (2005) and Mastering Assessment: A Self-Service System for Educators (2006), RoutledgeFalmer. He encourages purchase of these books because he regards their semi-annual royalties as psychologically reassuring. In 1978, Dr. Popham was elected to the presidency of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He was also the founding editor ofEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a quarterly journal published by AERA. He has attended each year's AERA meeting since his first in 1958. He is inordinately compulsive. In 1968, Dr. Popham established IOX Assessment Associates, an R&D group that formerly created statewide student achievement tests for a dozen states. He has personally passed all of those tests, largely because of his unlimited access to the tests' answer keys. In 2002 the National Council on Measurement in Education presented him with its Award for Career Contributions to Educational Measurement. In 2006 he was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the National Association of Test Directors. Dr. Popham's complete 42-page, single-spaced vita can be requested. It is really dull reading.

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