Question: Which is more useful—norm-referenced or criterion-referenced testing in helping to understand student achievement?
Answer: Both forms of testing are useful.
Quote: “Most test authors probably would agree that criterion-referenced interpretation of test performance can provide information helpful in the guidance of pupil learning and in the evaluation of instruction. It should not, however, be thought of as a replacement for norm-referenced interpretation. The latter still provides essential information concerning a pupil’s performance on a body of material carefully selected to be representative of what is being taught nationally within a given subject matter field and at a particular grade level.” P. 354.
Comment: You can’t learn everything about education in your education courses. That’s why you need to read professional journals in education and to belong to your professional organizations, in English education—the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA). The information they offer, if read critically, can be very helpful in succeeding as an English teacher and a teacher of reading. RayS.
Title: “Criterion-Referenced Test Interpretation in Reading.” George A. Prescott. Reading Teacher (January 1971), 347-354.