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The three organizations that created the professional standards for educational and psychological tests are beginning the process of revising the guidelines.

Last revised in 1985, the standards outline principles for developers and users of tests. A revision, which would be completed by 1996, would incorporate recent developments in the field, such as performance-based assessment, computer-adaptive testing, and race norming, according to Wayne J. Camara, the director of scientific affairs in the science directorate of the American Psychological Association.

The A.P.A. produced the standards along with the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education.

To set the revision process in motion, the A.P.A. in August held an open forum at its annual convention where members discussed the need for revising the standards and suggested areas that might be included in the new document; the A.E.R.A. and the N.C.M.E. have solicited similar advice from their memberships.

By January, Mr. Camara said, the three organizations are expected to meet to review the comments and create a structure for developing a new set of guidelines.

To help corporate funders understand the way educational programs are evaluated--and particularly the role of testing in evaluation--the Council for Aid to Education has published a new report.

Written by researchers from Boston College's center for the study of testing, evaluation, and educational policy, the report outlines models evaluators use in judging the effectiveness of programs, professional standards in the field, and the uses and limitations of multiple-choice and alternative forms of assessment, among other issues.

Copies of "Testing and Evaluation: Learning From the Projects We Fund,'' are available from the Council for Aid to Education, 51 Madison Ave., Suite 2200, New York, N.Y. 10010. Copies are free of charge for council members; others may purchase them for $15 each.

The Council of Chief State School Officers has received a $1.2 million contract to develop the framework for the first national assessment of the arts in two decades.

The assessment, which is expected to take place in 1996, will measure 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-grade students' knowledge and performance in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts.

The 18-month framework project was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Getty Center for Education in the Arts.-R.R.

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