ERIC Number: ED189184
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Making Sense of the Competency Testing Movement. National Consortium on Testing, Staff Circular No. 2.
Haney, Walt; Madaus, George
The enthusiasm for competency testing poses a contradiction, for it comes at a time when questions and criticisms are being increasingly raised about tests and their use. In three sections, this paper explores the competency testing movement: 1) main features and basic issues in the competency testing movements; 2) observations on the politics of competency testing; and 3) consideration of the concern over the quality of education as it is focused on testing. Main issues likely to arise as efforts are made to implement competency testing schemes are also discussed. Four issues are cited as especially important for how ideas for minimum competency testing work out in practice: testing and teaching, remediation, potential for discrimination, and test security and freedom of information. It is stated that the problems of testing programs seem more prominent than their prospective benefits; the problems are derived from the relationship between what tests measure and what is taught in schools. The suggested antidote to unintended outcomes of competency testing is to focus more attention on what should be taught in schools and how to teach it effectively, rather than on that which can be measured. (Author/GSK)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Basic Skills, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Minimum Competencies, Minimum Competency Testing, Political Influences, Test Validity, Testing, Testing Problems
National Consortium on Testing, PO Box 9521, Arlington, VA 22209 ($3.00)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Huron Inst., Cambridge, MA.
Note: Research prepared through the National Consortium on Testing Project.