ERIC Number: ED455254
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Feb
The High Stakes of HIGH-STAKES Testing. Policy Brief.
Ananda, Sri; Rabinowitz, Stanley
This brief addresses the benefits and concerns raised by the use of high stakes testing as the centerpiece of new accountability systems. It offers some recommendations for policymakers seeking to incorporate such tests into state accountability systems. High stakes tests can clarify and establish challenging performance expectations for students, teachers, and schools; highlight achievement gaps; and boost student performance. The drawbacks are that they can: (1) increase student failure and retention rates to unacceptably high levels; (2) narrow the focus of instruction and assessment; (3) lead to inappropriate inferences about student performance; and (4) overburden students and teachers. The question for policymakers is not whether to use high-stakes testing because the trend toward increased reliance on such testing will not and should not disappear any time soon. The question is how best to use high stakes testing, ensuring technical adequacy of the tests, efficient use of testing, and sufficient professional development. (SLD)
Descriptors: Accountability, Elementary Secondary Education, High Stakes Tests, Policy Formation, Standardized Tests, State Programs, Test Use, Testing Programs
WestEd, 730 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107-1242. Tel: 877-493-7833 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.WestEd.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: WestEd, San Francisco, CA.