This study had attempted to investigate assessment practices and factors for grade 8 students score disparity in Regional versus Teacher-made exams, from 2015 in Bench Maji Zone primary schools. In doing so, a descriptive survey method was employed. A sample of 185 stakeholders composed of 58 teachers, 101 students, 14 principals, 11 Woreda Education Department Officers, 12 school supervisors and the Zone Education Bureau Officer participated. Purposive sampling technique was employed to identify the participating individuals. As tools of data collection, questionnaire, semi-structured interview, and document review were employed. The collected data were analyzed qualitatively as well as employing percentage correlation in accordance to the thematic areas, primarily to substantiate the quantitative descriptions. The results with respect to assessment had shown that teachers were applying the traditional pyramid of assessment procedures whereby the proportion of assessment of learning (Summative Assessment) dominates assessment as learning and assessment for learning which are vital for better learning and performance. The correlation between students' scores in Regional versus Teacher-made exams was found to be positive but very much lower than the absolute positive correlation coefficient value (ɤ=0.476**at p<0.01 level of significance). The contributing factors for the existing score disparity were the traditional assessment practice itself, assessment feedback provision experiences, differences in invigilation room setting and degree of control, and large class size. Also included are commitment differences among students themselves, differences in the difficulty and quality standard of exam questions, poor study skills, support provision variations obtained from parents, supervisors, principals, Education office and Education department officers. Therefore, concerned stakeholders must cooperate fully and responsively to put in place proper assessment which contributes much for effective learning.
Key words: Assessment practice, score disparity, time perspective of assessment, assessor.
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