ERIC Number: ED185094
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Politics of Proficiency.
Kelley, E. W.
The advocacy and establishment of legislation for minimum competency tests appears to be based upon the desire to hold educators responsible for their products, to measure the cost effectiveness of education, and to insure that all students obtain an adequate education in basic skills; but it is argued that using minimum competency standards has none of these effects. Instead, it will keep property taxes down, keep test-makers at work, and secure privileges and prerogatives for those in educational research and administration. Additionally, a highly motivated segment of the work force will find reduced employment opportunities. It is also contended that setting minimum competency standards is largely a political act, which involves the use of public authority to further the interests of private groups. Minimum competency testing is characterized as typical twentieth-century American politics, whereby certain groups gain advantages at the expense of individuals. It is concluded that the benefits to many students are questionable. (Author/CTM)
Descriptors: Criterion Referenced Tests, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Testing, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Regulation, Government School Relationship, Middle Class Students, Minimum Competency Testing, Political Influences, Political Power, Politics, Professional Occupations, Underachievement
Education Commission of the States, Suite 300, 1860 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80295 ($2.75 prepaid).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: CEMREL, Inc., St. Ann, MO.