ERIC Number: ED353272
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Prospects and Problems for a National Test: Some Reflections of a Test Author.
Hogan, Thomas P.
Reflections on the proposal for creation and implementation of a national test are presented from the perspective of a test author. The most readily identified characteristic of the proposed national test is the intensity of debate surrounding it. Another easily identified characteristic is the anticipated effect. While proponents expect higher levels of academic achievement, and opponents fear reduced achievement, it seems probable that there will actually be no perceptible effect on achievement levels or on anything else, unless it is the national debt. The matter of curriculum is not a significant impediment to the development of a national test. In effect, a "de facto" national curriculum already exists, and a national test is likely only to damage the perception of local curricula. The technical and psychometric problems associated with a national test can probably all be solved. The most under-rated, or under-discussed, problems are the logistical ones of testing, scoring, and result reporting. There is no evidence that the proposed test intends to acknowledge individual differences among test takers, and that is a major problem. While there seem to be no compelling reasons why a national test cannot be built, it will not accomplish what is hoped for it. It will be expensive and will not sustain itself because of its failure to deal with individual differences and its ill-defined purpose. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Cost Effectiveness, Curriculum Development, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Futures (of Society), National Competency Tests, National Programs, Psychometrics, Student Evaluation, Test Construction, Test Use, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (San Francisco, CA, April 21-23, 1992).