ERIC Number: ED443871
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Development and Impact of High Stakes Testing.
Natriello, Gary; Pallas, Aaron M.
This paper reviews recent developments in the growth of testing as a requirement for high school graduation for K-12 public school systems throughout the United States. It then examines performance patterns on such tests by focusing on results for students indifferent racial and ethnic groups in several states. The multiple meanings of the movement to require students to pass formal statewide tests in order to receive a high school diploma are considered. Twenty-two states currently have such requirements, and an additional five states are developing examinations that will be required for high school graduation. There is little consensus about the impact of high stakes testing on students, teachers, schools, and the general public's perception of education. Without considering the ultimate impact of such tests, this paper reviews the immediate impact by examining the test scores of students from different racial and ethnic groups in Texas, New York, and Minnesota. For each state, the history of state graduation testing, current regulations about exemptions from the tests, racial and ethnic group performance differences, and legal challenges to high school graduation tests are reviewed. If the motivational consequences of high school graduation tests are not positive or at least not uniformly positive cross racial, ethnic, and social class lines, as some research has suggested, then these tests may have the potential to exacerbate further substantial inequities in schooling outcomes. Whatever the interpretation one prefers to place on the high stakes testing movement, there are things that can be done to improve the use of such tests. These center around research into test construction and test use to ensure equal opportunity. (Contains 17 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota; New York; Texas