ERIC Number: ED318749
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
Fallout from the Testing Explosion: How 100 Million Standardized Exams Undermine Equity and Excellence in America's Public Schools. Third Edition (Revised).
Medina, Noe; Neill, D. Monty
Standardized tests often produce results that are inaccurate, inconsistent, and biased against minority, female, and low-income students. Such tests shift control and authority into the hands of the unregulated testing industry and can undermine school achievement by narrowing the curriculum, frustrating teachers, and driving students out of school. It is contended that, as a whole, standardized tests do not measure much. Current standardized multiple-choice tests are severely flawed, based on assumptions about human ability that cannot be proven, with inadequate content and construct validity. An agenda for test reform calls for the use of "authentic" or "performance-based" evaluation, using properly constructed, validated, and administered tests. Schools, test-takers, and independent researchers should have access to data needed to verify test publishers' claims about their tests. Both test developers and test users have the obligation to promote proper, reasonable, and limited use of standardized tests as one of a series of assessment mechanisms. Appendix A presents results of a survey of officials from all states and from 56 sample school districts in 38 states focusing on the use of standardized tests. Appendix B discusses "authentic evaluation." A 72-item annotated bibliography is included. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Administrators, Construct Validity, Content Validity, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Multiple Choice Tests, Performance Based Assessment, Public Schools, Standardized Tests, State Departments of Education, Surveys, Test Use, Testing Problems
FairTest, 342 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139 ($8.95).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), Cambridge, MA.