ERIC Number: ED355276
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Student Testing: Current Extent and Expenditures, with Cost Estimates for a National Examination. Report to Congressional Requesters.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Program Evaluation and Methodology Div.
As the country began to debate the proposition that the United States adopt a national examination system, it became apparent that information was needed about the present extent and cost of testing, as well as the estimated cost of a national examination system. In the fall of 1991, the General Accounting Office (GAO) surveyed testing officials in all state education agencies and a random sample of U.S. school districts. The GAO received completed questionnaires from 48 states and 74 percent of the districts sampled. In 1990-91, U.S. students did not seem to have been overtested. Systemwide testing took approximately 7 hours per year for an average student, half in direct testing and half in related activities. The cost per student was approximately $15, including staff time and test time; and the typical test was a commercially-developed, four- or five-subject, multiple-choice standardized test. The GAO estimates the overall cost of systemwide testing in 1990-91 at $516 million. A single national multiple-choice test is estimated to cost approximately $160 million a year. A decentralized system of clusters of states, with each cluster using different performance-based tests, as advocated by the National Council on Education Standards and Testing, is estimated to cost approximately $330 million a year. Recommendations are made for congressional consideration before implementing a national examination system. Twelve tables, 9 figures, 5 appendixes containing details about the survey process and results, a 14-item glossary, and a 31-item bibliography are provided. (SLD)
Descriptors: Alternative Assessment, Cost Estimates, Elementary Secondary Education, Estimation (Mathematics), Expenditures, Multiple Choice Tests, National Competency Tests, National Programs, National Surveys, Performance Based Assessment, Program Costs, Questionnaires, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Testing Problems, Testing Programs, Time Management
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 (first copy free; additional copies $2; 25 percent discount for 100 or more copies mailed to a single address; make check of money order out to Superintendent of Documents).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Program Evaluation and Methodology Div.
Identifiers - Location: United States