ERIC Number: EJ818677
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Reference Count: 32
No Child Left Behind: Values and Research Issues in High-Stakes Assessments
Duffy, Maureen; Giordano, Victoria A.; Farrell, Jill B.; Paneque, Oneyda M.; Crump, Genae B.
Counseling and Values, v53 n1 p53 Oct 2008
High-stakes testing and mandated assessments, which are major outcomes of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) contain multiple embedded values that affect the lives of students, their families, teachers, and counselors. A primary embedded value within the NCLB is the privileging of quantitative science over other methods of inquiry and assessment. Thus, accountability, a cornerstone of NCLB legislation, has come to be understood in a narrow way and is valued primarily as a feature of quantitative assessment. This article examines the embedded values within mandated assessments and high-stakes testing included in the NCLB and considers their implications for multiple stakeholders, especially students, their families, teachers, and counselors. Embedded values are the unstated assumptions and taken-for-granted premises underlying the principles and arguments within the NCLB. For example, a taken-for-granted belief or value of the NCLB is that student achievement can best be measured on standardized state academic assessments. To appreciate and understand the significance of any piece of legislation with impact as great as that of the NCLB requires critical reflection on its unstated values, preferences, and beliefs. To provide a context for understanding the evolution of the NCLB, the authors also include a brief history of educational reform in order to orient stakeholders regarding how high-stakes assessments and mandated testing became the gold standards for measuring student progress at the expense of other more holistic nonquantitative assessments.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Academic Achievement, High Stakes Tests, Educational Change, Educational Research, Accountability, Values, Standardized Tests, Educational History, Testing, Standards, Student Evaluation
American Counseling Association. 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Tel: 800-422-2648; Tel: 800-347-6647; Fax: 800-473-2329; Web site: http://www.counseling.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001