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ERIC Number: EJ1017702
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1475
Hiding behind High-Stakes Testing: Meritocracy, Objectivity and Inequality in U.S. Education
Au, Wayne
International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, v12 n2 p7-20 2013
This paper analyses how high-stakes, standardised testing became the policy tool in the U.S. that it is today and discusses its role in advancing an ideology of meritocracy that fundamentally masks structural inequalities related to race and economic class. This paper first traces the early history of high-stakes testing within the U.S. context, focusing on its deep-rooted connections with eugenics and IQ testing in schools. It then turns to the more recent history of high-stakes testing, highlighting the ways that race and class inequality, as well as the ideology of meritocracy, manifest in the United States today as part of a legacy of inequality.
Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A