ERIC Number: ED377234
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Unintended and Unwelcome: The Local Impact of State Testing.
Corbett, H. Dickson; Wilson, Bruce L.
This paper summarizes the results of a study of the local consequences of implementing statewide minimum competency tests. For American education to be the best in the world, the use of statewide and nationwide standardized testing as a primary policy tool for stimulating reform must be discontinued. Second, school district responses to such testing generally do not represent improvement and they certainly have not resembled reform. In the third place, this lack of a reform-like response may be interpreted as either a misuse of testing on the part of educators or a misuse of testing as a tool of reform on the part of policymakers. Fourth, testing is misused by policymakers because: (1) measures of student weaknesses are not adequate measures of system weaknesses; (2) uniform measures ignore important differences among districts; and (3) testing policies tend to engender conditions at the local level under which the reform intentions of the policy become unrealizable. Fifth, continued use of testing in educational change requires the recognition that policies must be established at the levels where action is to occur. Educators must do a better job selling education to the public and convincing the public that educational change is a long-term process, not a short-term improvement in test scores. (Contains 35 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.