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ERIC Number: ED355276
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jan
Pages: 87
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: 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)
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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Program Evaluation and Methodology Div.
Identifiers - Location: United States