NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ885526
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 101
ISSN: ISSN-0077-5762
A Historical Perspective on Validity Arguments for Accountability Testing
Haertel, Edward H.; Herman, Joan L.
Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, v104 n2 p1-34 Jun 2005
In this article, the authors describe various rationales for accountability testing programs over the past century. This history forms the backdrop for current test-driven reforms, including Public Law 107-110, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which was signed into law in January 2002. The goals of the authors are first, to illustrate the diversity of mechanisms whereby testing may affect educational practice and learning outcomes, and second, to show that while many of the same ideas have recurred over time in different forms and guises, accountability testing "has" become more sophisticated. There is a better understanding today than in the past of how to make accountability testing an effective policy tool, although it remains to be seen if one will make the best use of this understanding. Testing may subtly shift the blame for school failure from inadequate school resources, poor teacher preparation, or out-of-school factors to teachers and students who are "simply not working hard enough," and thereby divert attention from more costly, more needed reforms. The authors describe testing during different periods, from the early 20th century to the present. Most of these periods are characterized by one or another predominant mode of test use in education. Where appropriate, the authors refer back to the earlier roots of testing applications characteristic of a given period. (Contains 2 figures and 2 notes.)
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; SAT (College Admission Test)