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ERIC Number: EJ889148
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Tyler Heights Is Not Alone: Score Inflation Is Common in Education--and Other Fields
Koretz, Daniel
American Educator, v34 n2 p8-9 Sum 2010
Every year, newspaper articles and news releases from education departments around the nation report that test scores are up again, often dramatically. The main story line is usually positive: performance is getting better, and rapidly. Unfortunately, this good news is often more apparent than real. Scores on the tests used for accountability have become inflated, badly overstating real gains in student performance. When scores are inflated, many of the most important conclusions people base on them will be wrong, and students--and sometimes teachers--will suffer as a result. The author cites one example of Campbell's law in the media that provides a hint of how score inflation arises. Since score inflation can be enormous to mislead people, the author stresses the need to be more realistic about using tests as a part of educational accountability systems. The author argues that if educational testing is used carefully, it can be immensely informative, and it can be a very powerful tool for changing education for the better. Used indiscriminately, it poses a risk of various and severe side effects. (Contains 2 endnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A