ERIC Number: ED205616
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Minimum Competency Testing: New Directions for American Public Education?
Minimum competency testing programs present educational decision makers with a new opportunity to reconsider some fundamental issues in American public education. First, what is the goal of our elementary and secondary educational system? In particular, one must consider the role that minimum competency testing plays in the struggle for equality of educational opportunity and quality educational opportunities for all students. A second issue raised by minimum competency testing is designating as "educated" a student who has successfully passed the required tests. The process of defining "education" on the basis of test performance is especially controversial when the testing mandate goes beyond the basic skills. Finally, the issue that must be examined in relation to minimum competency testing is that of who the decision makers are that will answer the first two questions. These individuals must be accountable to legislators and to the public. In addition, they must be able to evaluate the actual educational processes involved in the measurement of minimum competencies. In sum, it is important that both decision makers and educational observers realize that what happens with minimum competency testing will have an impact on the definition and goals of American public education. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: CEMREL, Inc., St. Louis, MO.
Note: Paper prepared for the Midwest Policy Seminar (St. Louis, MO, October 15-17, 1980). Seminar convened by Urban Education Program, CEMREL, Inc. For related documents, see UD 021 096-098, and UD 021 102.