Standardized testing in the United States has been increasing at a rapid pace in the last twenty-five years. The market for tests has not only been expanding rapidly, but has also been changing sharply in structure into a fractured marketplace. Indeed, one of the main features of this book is that the market for standardized testing is highly fractured - with segments of the market facing monopoly conditions, others facing oligopoly conditions and still others where near free-market conditions exist.
One of the main premises of the book is that the structures of markets have strong implications for how those markets perform. While this notion is widely accepted among economists, it is not widely appreciated in educational research. A second motivation for the book is that very little scholarly attention has been focused on the standardized testing industry. This topic - the structure of the testing industry and implications for the quality of tests and test use - affects how we evaluate the learning of students, the effectiveness of teaching, the quality of schools and the educational health of the nation. Of particular concern to the authors is one vital aspect of test quality: test validity.
This book is the most current and authoritative review and analysis of the market for standardized testing.
This volume describes the testing marketplace, recaps evidence on the extent of the marketplace and the recent growth in testing, presents estimates on the direct and indirect costs of testing, outlines the social forces behind the burgeoning market for testing, describes spin-off industries have grown up around testing, discusses the implications of the changing marketplace with regard to test quality and use, and presents alternative strategies to improve the use and prevent the misuse of tests as instruments of social and educational policy. Produced for the National Commission on Testing and Public Policy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
List of Figures and Tables. Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. The Testing Industry. 3. The Extent of the Marketplace for Tests. 4. Social Investment in Educational Testing. 5. Forces behind the Testing Marketplace. 6. Spin-Offs from the Testing Industry. 7. Test Quality and the Fractured Marketplace for Testing. 8. Meding the Fractured Marketplace. References. Appendices. Index.