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ERIC Number: EJ898346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 79
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2719
The Role of End-of-Course Exams and Minimum Competency Exams in Standards-Based Reforms
Bishop, John H.; Mane, Ferran; Bishop, Michael; Moriarty, Joan Y.
Brookings Papers on Education Policy, p267-345 2001
In this article, the authors looked at the effects of one old-style educational reform--higher course graduation requirements--and five standard-based reforms--(1) school report cards; (2) rewards for school improvement; (3) sanctions for failing schools; (4) minimum competency examinations; and (5) hybrid minimum competency exam (MCE)/end-of-course examinations. For state course graduation requirements, state minimum competency exams, and end-of-course exams, the authors studied effects on eight outcomes--(1) high school dropout rates; (2) high school graduation rates; (3) test scores; (4) college attendance rates; (5) employment; (6) unemployment; (7) wage rates; and (8) earnings. For school-based standards-based reform (SBR) policies, only test scores were studied. The authors provide an array of carefully conducted analyses designed to examine the impact of two types of standards-based testing (end-of-course exams and minimum competency exams) on several widely watched indicators of student achievement: high school graduation, college enrollment, achievement test scores, and earnings. They have tested a series of well-developed hypotheses using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data and with different data sets. By and large the results are encouraging to those who support standards-based reforms and problematic for those who oppose them. Students, for the most part, do not drop out in large numbers when they are required to pass exams to graduate or receive course credit, and some evidence exists that standards-based testing may increase college attendance and post-high school earnings. On the bases of their analyses, the authors conclude that the most effective type of standards-based reform is one that combines the use of end-of-course exams with the implementation of minimum competency exams. Comments by Richard Murnane and Laurence Steinberg are included. (Contains 12 figures, 11 tables, and 70 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A