ERIC Number: ED351374
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: 0
Tests, Examinations and Assessment in Schools: The Role of External Tests and Examinations in the Assessment of Student Achievement at the Secondary Level--A Review of the Current Debate.
Northern Territory Dept. of Education, Darwin (Australia).
Issues surrounding educational assessment in Australia's Northern Territory are discussed. It is possible that the real issue is not an actual decline in educational standards, but instead, a decrease in public confidence in educational practice. Global patterns in educational testing and the assessment systems of the United States, the British Isles, and parts of Europe and Asia are compared with those of the individual Australian states and territories. Arguments against system-wide external examinations and tests for the Northern Territory can be summarized as: (1) in the rest of Australia, the trend is away from such examinations; (2) these tests may encourage classroom competition rather than cooperation; (3) failure may become institutionalized; (4) reform may be frustrated by external examinations; (5) inequalities may be supported by test results; (6) tests do not necessarily work to raise standards; (7) tests deny the realities of individual differences; (8) the validity of tests is in question; and (9) improper test use can give inaccurate portrayals of achievement. Proponents of standardized assessment argue that objective system-wide tests negate the potential prejudices of subjective assessment and facilitate advancement of minority groups. Possible approaches that the Territory may choose are outlined. A 68-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Tests, Comparative Analysis, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Practices, Educational Trends, Foreign Countries, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Test Use
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northern Territory Dept. of Education, Darwin (Australia).
Identifiers: Australia (Northern Territory); External Examination Program