ERIC Number: ED361377
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Educational Testing: The Canadian Experience with Standards, Examinations, and Assessments. Report to Congressional Requesters.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Program Evaluation and Methodology Div.
The experience of the Canadian provinces with large-scale testing programs is reviewed to suggest answers to questions currently discussed in the United States regarding the proposed national system of achievement testing. In the Canadian provinces, tests are linked to provincial curricula. Standards and assessments are not set by experts with no direct responsibility for implementing curriculum and instruction, but are prepared with the cooperation of teachers and administrators. Assessments cover broad subject areas and monitor the overall education system, and examinations certify individuals' mastery of specific high school courses. The provinces have not found it necessary to attach high stakes to all tests. Examination results are used in conjunction with teacher-assigned grades, and assessments have no consequences for individual students. Safeguards have been developed for each type of test; and provincial school funding formulas, which are independent of the testing process, tend to level resources among schools within a province. Most Canadian educators and the public support the testing programs, but they have no hard evidence that the programs lead directly to improved instruction. Appendixes list characteristics of the provincial programs, participants in site and telephone interviews, and major contributors to the report. Fourteen tables provide information about the testing programs. (Contains 8 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Educational Assessment, Educational Testing, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Financial Support, Foreign Countries, National Competency Tests, National Programs, Public Opinion, Public Support, Secondary School Students, Standard Setting, Student Evaluation, Test Construction, Test Results, Test Use, Testing Programs
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 (first copy is free; additional copies are $2; orders for 100 or more to a single address are discounted 25 percent).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Program Evaluation and Methodology Div.
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States