ERIC Number: EJ930054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun-8
Reference Count: N/A
Panel Finds Few Learning Benefits in High-Stakes Exams
Sparks, Sarah D.
Education Week, v30 n33 p1, 14 Jun 2011
As Congress debates how to structure the next iteration of federal school accountability, a new national study has raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of test-based incentives to improve education. A blue-ribbon committee of the National Academies' National Research Council undertook a nearly decade-long study of test-based incentive systems, including the "adequate yearly progress" measures under the No Child Left Behind Act, high school exit exams, teacher merit-pay programs, and other testing-and-accountability initiatives. While the panel says it supports evaluating education systems and holding them accountable, on the whole it found the approaches implemented so far have had little or no effect on actual student learning, and in some cases have run counter to their intended purposes. The results are likely to add fuel to ongoing debates across the country over how to fairly evaluate schools and teachers for student progress and whether to tie consequences for students and teachers to results from current forms of testing. The study, released May 26, drew a mix of reactions.
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Incentives, Educational Improvement, Federal Programs, Testing, Exit Examinations, Educational Indicators, Accountability, Educational Benefits, High Stakes Tests, Educational Assessment, Test Validity, Academic Standards
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001