ERIC Number: ED348382
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Will National Tests Improve Student Learning?
Shepard, Lorrie A.
Claims that national tests will improve student learning are explored, asking whether national examinations will ensure high-quality instruction and greater student learning and whether tests developed to meet urgent political deadlines will retain essential features of authentic curriculum-driven assessments. Part I presents research evidence on the negative effects of standardized testing, such as the effects of high stakes testing on scores, the curriculum, and instruction. The National Education Goals Panel's (NEGP's) version of national examinations is presented in Part II, with attention to their proposals intended to forestall the negative effects of traditional tests. Part III identifies curricular and technical problems that must be resolved before the NEGP's vision can be achieved. These include: (1) development of world class rather than lowest common denominator standards; (2) development of incorruptible performance tasks; (3) teacher training in curriculum and instruction; (4) high standards for all students without reinstitution of tracking; and (5) cost. If tests are developed before these problems are resolved, new tests are likely to have the same pernicious effects as the old. There is a 32-item list of references. (SLD)
Descriptors: Advisory Committees, Cost Effectiveness, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning, National Competency Tests, National Standards, Performance Based Assessment, Standard Setting, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Test Construction, Test Use, Testing Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.; Colorado Univ., Boulder.