ERIC Number: ED352374
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
What's Wrong with Standardized Tests?
National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), Cambridge, MA.
This fact sheet lists problems involved in the use of standardized tests. It is argued that standardized tests are not really fair and helpful evaluation tools because they reward the ability to answer superficial questions quickly and do not measure the ability to think or create in any field. They also assume that all test takers have been exposed to a white, middle-class background. The only truly objective part of most standardized tests is the scoring. Standardized tests are not completely reliable. Test scores for children and for sub-sections of tests are much less reliable than are scores for adults and for whole tests. Standardized test scores do not necessarily reflect real differences among people and they often do not adequately eliminate underlying biased cultural assumptions built into the test as a whole. Intelligence tests are a type of achievement test that measures knowledge of standard English and exposure to the cultural experiences of middle-class whites. Given that standardized tests do not really reflect what we know about how students learn, that they often fail to measure student achievement, and that they are of limited utility to the teacher, better ways can and must be found to evaluate student achievement or ability. (SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Cultural Differences, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Individual Differences, Intelligence Tests, Measurement Techniques, Minority Groups, Racial Differences, Scoring, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Test Bias, Test Reliability, Test Use, Testing Problems, Thinking Skills
FairTest, 342 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), Cambridge, MA.