ERIC Number: ED341755
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
National Testing: The National Debate. ASPIRA Issue Brief.
The issue of a national assessment tool in the form of national testing has recently gained momentum. The expectation is that tough national tests would raise national standards and improve educational equity. The goals are ambitious ones and the stakes are particularly high for disadvantaged youth who currently experience the worst effects of testing practices and an inequitable education system. Even current levels of time and money spent on preparation for and administration of standardized tests may have some of the following consequences: (1) narrowed curriculum; (2) teaching that resembles the tests; (3) downgraded teaching skills and stifling of creativity; and (4) tracking of students with the lowest scores (often minorities) into lowest performing classes. Prominent on the current political scene is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Those who criticize the NAEP focus on the issue of national versus local control. Several alternative proposals are currently being offered. Recommendations for the development of a national, state, or local assessment system of interest particularly for those advocating educational advancement for minorities fall into the following areas: (1) representation and diversity; (2) teacher involvement; (3) parent involvement; (4) standards before tests; (5) development beyond standardized tests; (6) assessment to improve instruction; (7) access for limited-English and handicapped students; (8) monitoring for fairness; (9) de-emphasis of "high stakes"; (10) no tracking; (11) clear reporting of results; (12) reporting school accountability; (13) improvement of education; (14) community and state accountability; (15) adequate time to create an effective system; and (16) sufficient resources for the system's development and implementation. The need for local perspectives is also clear. (JB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Accountability, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Government School Relationship, Minority Groups, National Competency Tests, National Programs, National Standards, Politics of Education, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Test Use, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Publications, ASPIRA National Office, 1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 340, Washington, DC 20036 (first copy free; additional copies available for the price of postage).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., St. Louis, MO.
Authoring Institution: ASPIRA Association, Inc., Washington, DC. National Office.
Identifiers: National Assessment of Educational Progress