ERIC Number: ED331894
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-23
Reference Count: N/A
Why the United States Does Not Need a National Test: Testimony to the House Subcommittee on Select Education.
Based on the FairTest perspective, this paper argues that the United States does not need a national test to measure progress toward the nation's educational goals and that such a test would have adverse impacts on low-income and minority students. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) should remain an indicator system but should use more performance-based methods in its assessment. National testing proposals are usually based on the false premise that measurement itself will produce positive change in education. A national examination could undermine needed and emerging reforms such as school-based management and shared decision making. A national test would tend to centralize decision making, making education less accountable to parents, students, teachers, and the community. A national examination would not promote educational equity. The weaknesses of multiple-choice examinations are also dangers inherent in a national examination. Recommendations are made for appropriate educational reform; these include development and implementation of performance-based assessment methods. Attachment A is a statement on proposals for a national test, which summarizes the reasons for opposing a national test. Attachment B is an open letter, which discusses 10 concerns and recommendations about the roles of the NAEP and the National Assessment Governing Board. The names of signers of both attachments are listed. (SLD)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress