ERIC Number: ED482322
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Use of Academic Achievement Tests and Measurements with American Indian and Alaska Native Students. ERIC Digest.
Tippeconnic, John W., III
This digest focuses on academic testing and American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. Ideally, test results should be used to improve student learning. Proponents of high-stakes testing say it is needed to measure student achievement and school quality and to hold students and teachers accountable. High-stakes testing is also used to publicly compare schools and districts; to determine entrance into particular programs, schools, or colleges; as criteria for promotion or graduation; and to make decisions about resource allocation. Opponents of testing argue that current testing programs do not provide valid or reliable information, especially for low-income and minority students, and have unintended, negative consequences. Nationally, AI/AN students have scored well below White and other minority groups of students on standardized tests of reading, language, and mathematics. Testing of AI/AN students has been a concern for years, as AI/AN cultures and languages were long considered obstacles to achievement, and the performance of White students was the benchmark for all. Standardized tests fail to consider the vast diversity of AI/AN languages and cultures, leading to serious issues regarding cultural bias, content comparability, norming of tests, and test validity. Other issues include environmental factors; student physical or emotional health; risk-taking behaviors of youth; and poorly funded, low-quality schools serving AI/AN students. Nine strategies are listed for improving test scores of special populations, including AI/AN students. (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Accountability, American Indian Education, American Indian Students, Educational Testing, Elementary Secondary Education, High Stakes Tests, Standardized Tests, Test Bias, Test Use, Test Validity, Testing Problems
Archives at http://www.ael.org/.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.