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ERIC Number: ED506193
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1554-5210
Heuristics and NCLB Standardized Tests: A Convenient Lie
Dodge, Arnold
International Journal of Progressive Education, v5 n2 2009
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires public schools in the United States to test students in grades 3-8. The author argues that this mandate has been supported by the public, in part, because of the "availability heuristic," a phenomenon which occurs when people assess the probability of an event by the ease with which instances or occurrences can be brought to mind. These "mental short cuts," which tend to oversimplify complex issues, are being employed by policy-makers in promoting standardized testing as the panacea for the problems of the public school system. The premises of this campaign include the "good intentions" to "leave no child behind," the promise of improved accountability through high-stakes testing and the purported worthiness of test results. The author claims these premises are specious and examines their harmful potential for diverting resources, distracting educators and alarming children.
International Association of Educators. 1971 South Orchard Street, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001