ERIC Number: ED352375
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
How Standardized Testing Damages Education.
National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), Cambridge, MA.
Despite the many limitations of standardized tests, schools use them to determine if children are ready for school, to group students for instruction, to diagnose learning disabilities and other handicaps, and to guide and control the curriculum and teaching methods. No test is good enough to serve as the sole or primary basis for important educational decisions for an individual child, and test content is a very poor basis for determining curriculum content and teaching methods. Students from low-income and minority groups are more likely to be retained in grade or placed in a lower track, while those from white middle and upper income groups are more likely to be given educationally advantageous placements. Because raising the test score is so often the single most important indicator of school improvement, teaching comes to resemble testing more and more. Teaching to the test can only improve student capabilities and knowledge if the test is good. Better methods than standardized tests for educational improvement and accountability already exist in assessment measures based on student performance. These methods of assessment are as reliable as are standardized multiple-choice tests and are used successfully in other nations. (SLD)
Descriptors: Accountability, Curriculum Development, Decision Making, Diagnostic Tests, Educational Assessment, Educational Discrimination, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Multiple Choice Tests, Scores, Screening Tests, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Teaching Methods, Test Bias, Test Use, Testing Problems
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.