ERIC Number: ED317562
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
A Look at Student Achievement from the School Dimension: Demythologizing Standardized Tests. Critical Issues in Student Achievement. Paper No. 3.
Issues emerging from a look at student achievement, which is defined in its usual school context as achievement on standardized tests, are addressed. A mythology about standardized testing has developed, in part because the metaphoric languages of medicine and business have been applied to education, defining it in terms of cure, efficiency, and productivity. Test bias, political implications, and contemporary learning theory can transform standardized test use into test abuse. Growing awareness of the dangers of exclusive dependence on standardized testing has resulted in many changes, including: (1) use of tests for screening and diagnosis; (2) innovative statewide assessment programs; (3) use of means of assessment that are authentic measures of what students need to gain; (4) use of large-scale tests in innovative ways; (5) goal planning as the emphasis for raising achievement; (6) new technology for testing; (7) increased awareness of fair testing practices; (8) development of the National Commission on Testing and Public Policy; (9) use of expectancy scores; (10) use of sophisticated sampling techniques; and (11) use of standardized tests as only one source of information. Standardized testing must come to be regarded, not as a cure for educational ills, but as a useful tool with much potential for misuse. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Sampling, Standardized Tests, Test Bias, Test Interpretation, Test Use, Testing Problems
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 211 E. 7th Street, Austin, TX 78701-3281. ($2.50 plus $1.50 shipping and handling).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.
Note: For related documents, see TM 014 589-590.