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Recently there has been legislation aimed at aligning education and industry interests to better meet the needs of students, workers, and employers. After the passage of the Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act in 1990 and its reauthorization in 1992, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education jointly initiated funding for 22 projects to develop industry skill standards in diverse industries. The National Skill Standards and Assessment Collaborative (NSSAC) has combined some of the efforts of the 22 projects to develop cross-industry standards linked to the industry skill standards for 4 partner industries, and they have pilot tested assessment methods that apply across these industries. This paper reports on the cross-industry analysis and subsequent assessment development work with one assessment method. First, the paper discusses the individual industry standards and their structure, highlighted by an example. Following discussion of the individual standard sets, the paper discusses the methodology and findings from the cross-industry analysis. To highlight the use of cross-industry standards for the purposes of assessment development, preliminary efforts in one area, written scenarios, are discussed. The four industries are: (1) retail and professional sales; (2) community support service worker; (3) health care services; and (4) electronics. The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) skills and competencies were used as an external referent to help establish a basis for the analysis. While portfolios and scenarios were chosen as two performance-based assessment methods on which to focus assessment development efforts, this paper concentrates on scenarios. The written scenario involves presenting a work-related situation for which the respondent is asked to develop and present a solution. Developing scenarios for the four industries is discussed. (Contains 8 tables, 4 figures, and 14 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Certification, Educational Assessment, Evaluation Methods, Federal Legislation, Industry, Licensing Examinations (Professions), Performance Based Assessment, Skills, Standards, Tables (Data)

Autor: Schwager, Mahna T.


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