Publications & Resources

Estimating the Costs of Student Assessment in North Carolina and Kentucky: A State-Level Analysis

Feb 1996

Lawrence O. Picus, Alisha Tralli, and Suzanne Tacheny

Utilizing a three-dimensional matrix to systematically identify costs (see CSE Technical Report 384), this study examined the state level costs of new assessment systems in Kentucky and North Carolina. The North Carolina Assessment system includes multiple-choice tests and open-ended questions requiring descriptions, analysis, and written explanation. All grade levels are tested and results are reported at the individual and school levels. In contrast, the Kentucky assessment system utilizes transitional tests (multiple choice and short answer), performance tasks, and portfolios in Grades 4, 8, and 12. Scores are reported only as far down as the school level and not all students are tested. Consequently, because of significant differences in the purposes and designs of the two systems, the authors warn against any direct comparisons of costs between the two systems. Rather, the following cost data averaged from three school years, 1992-1995, illustrate the costs involved in different types of assessment systems.

Picus, L. O., Tralli, A., & Tacheny, S. (1996). Estimating the costs of student assessment in North Carolina and Kentucky: A statelevel analysis (CSE Report 408). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).