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Vertical Scaling in Standards-Based Educational Assessment and Accountability Systems

Author(s)Richard J. Patz
Publication dateJanuary 2007
publication pdfVertical Scaling in Standards-Based Educational Assessment and Accountability Systems

This paper describes vertical scaling as a method for linking a set of test forms of increasing difficulty, and explores the applicability of these methods for standards-based educational achievement tests under status-based and growth-based accountability priorities. The purpose of the paper is to inform state policy-makers and assessment and accountability specialists about vertical scaling methods, and the potential advantages and limitations of vertical scaling in standards-based educational accountability programs. The possible application of vertical scales to support growth models is discussed, as well as alternatives to vertical scaling that meet accountability system needs.