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ERIC Number: EJ864115
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-12
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Stimulus Seeks Enriched Tests
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v28 n37 p1, 16-17 Aug 2009
No matter where teachers, state officials, and testing experts stand on the debate about school accountability, they generally agree that the United States' current multiple-choice-dominated Kinder-12 tests are, to use language borrowed from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, "in need of improvement." Now, federal officials are signaling that they expect the caliber of testing to change. Testing experts say that money could serve as a down payment for scaling up tests that would better measure students' critical-thinking skills and improve teacher and student engagement in the assessment process. The catch, they warn, is that truly achieving that goal may force federal officials to rethink the current parameters around assessment and accountability in the NCLB law. Experts add that the infusion of federal cash could also provide more opportunities to devise tests that will better engage teachers in the cognitive science about how knowledge develops. Another possible solution, experts say, would be to move to a system that samples student performance, rather than giving every student the same test form. Each student would take only a part of the exam, with results aggregated at a higher level. But such a system has not been used for school accountability purposes, and would contravene the NCLB requirements that all students in a state take the same test. It would also complicate efforts to break out schools' test-score results by racial or ethnic and income-level categories, among other areas. Ultimately, experts say, the federal agenda for the funding will probably determine its utility.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
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