ERIC Number: ED425488
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
A National Test: Balancing Policy and Technical Issues.
Carnevale, Anthony P.; Kimmel, Ernest W.
President Clinton, like President Bush before him, has challenged the nation's schools to participate in a rigorous national test of each student's reading skills at grade 4 and mathematics skills at grade 8. Tests would be voluntary and administered by private testing companies. They would allow parents to judge the adequacy of their child's school and to compare their child's performance to that of every other child in the country and in the world. Currently, only 40 percent of American children meet basic reading standards in the fourth grade, and only 20 percent have studied algebra by the eighth grade, compared to 100 percent in many other countries. Proponents see national tests as critical levers to raise the quality of American schooling. Critics contend that testing should be associated with an affirmative strategy to provide all students with learning opportunities. The idea of national tests challenges traditions of local control, the states' role, and use of existing standardized testing programs. Plus linkages to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) could be problematic. Also, the greater the consequences, the greater the pressure on test validity, security, and technical quality. High-stakes accountability actions and decisions should reflect multiple kinds of evidence. Test design challenges include adaptation, reliability, performance benchmarks, scoring, reporting results, disclosure, and security. (Contains 32 endnotes.) (MLH)
Descriptors: Comparative Education, Elementary Education, Grade 4, Grade 8, Mathematics Achievement, National Competency Tests, Reading Achievement, Test Construction, Test Results
Educational Testing Service, Mail Stop 01-C, Princeton, NJ 08541.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.