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ERIC Number: EJ1169365
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1323-9686
The Cost of High Stakes Testing for High-Ability Students
Jolly, Jennifer L.
Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, v24 n1 p30-36 Jun 2015
Working from an agenda of school improvement, Australia's implementation of National Assessment Program: Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in 2008 and the MySchool website in 2010 appears strongly influenced by the mechanisms that have driven the reform/accountability movement in the United States and the United Kingdom (Lingard, 2010; Polsel, Dulfer and Turnbull, 2012). While high-stakes tests such as NAPLAN are often executed under the pretence of creating greater equity and raising standards in schools, their unintended consequences often have the potential to impact negatively on students of all abilities, socioeconomic strata, and cultural backgrounds. A group of students often overlooked in this discourse are those with gifts and talents and of high ability. The United States' 30-year history with high-stakes testing has had a deleterious impact on these students, particularly under the federal legislation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) enacted in 2002. As Australian researcher Lingard has cautioned against such wholesale "policy borrowing" from countries such as the United States and advised that along with policy borrowing, Australian educational policy makers should also heed "policy learning" (Lingard, 2010). This article introduces the difficult lessons learned regarding high stakes testing and gifted learners in the U.S., emerging research regarding NAPLAN, and the implications for gifted learners in the Australian context such as shifting resources away from existing gifted programs, placing arbitrary ceilings on student performance, and the narrowing of curriculum.
Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented. School of Education, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A