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Issues Related to Judging the Alignment of Curriculum Standards and Assessments


"A process for judging the alignment between curriculum standards and assessments developed by the author is presented. This process produces information on the rela- tionship of standards and assessments on four alignment criteria: Categorical Con- currence, Depth of Knowledge Consistency, Range of Knowledge Correspondence, and Balance of Representation. Five issues are identified-but not resolved-that have arisen from conducting alignment studies. All of these issues relate to making a decision about what alignment is good enough. Pragmatic decisions have been made to specify acceptable levels for each of the alignment criteria. The assumptions are described. The issues discussed arise from a change in the underlying assumptions and from considering variations in the purpose for an assessment. The existence of such issues reinforces that alignment judgments have an element of subjectivity."