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Fair Test: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Peg Syverson
December 27, 2007

An Open Assessment Manifesto:

1. Assessment should be public. All stakeholders, including those being assessed, students, administrators, teachers, parents, and the public to whom the assessment is accountable should have the opportunity to see exactly what the assessment covers and how it is constructed.

2. Assessment should be equitable. It should not unfairly punish or privilege any group or class.

3. Assessment should be grounded on principles of learning and evaluation that are clearly expressed to stakeholders.

4. Assessment should be subject to peer review and modification or removal where it fails to meet its objectives. Development of assessment should be informed by ongoing review by experts as well as stakeholders.

5. Any assessment should itself be held accountable for its foundational principles, methods, implementation, reliability and validity, and consequences for stakeholders.

6. An assessment should be modifiable within its principles and methods to suit particular situations.

7. Multiple sources of information about performance should inform any evaluative decisions in any context.

8. An assessment should measure what we are interested in measuring.

9. An assessment should acknowledge its limitations.

10. An assessment should not be represented as definitive or conclusive.

11. An assessment should not be proprietary. Services in support of administration, archiving, teacher preparation, reporting, and so on may be provided at a cost, but the assessment itself should be freely available.

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