By: John Bielinski, Ph.D.
The central purpose of a score on any classroom assessment is to convey information about the performance of the student. Parents, educators and students want to know whether the score represents strong performance or is cause for concern. To valuate a score, we need a frame of reference. For example, it is not enough to say Ian earned a score of 64. We need to know how that score compares to expectations. While there are many ways to define expectations, our instinct is to use what we know about the student’s peer group’s performance. The teacher, who knows the performance of the entire class, might recognize that a score of 64 is above average.