High-Stakes Test-Based Accountability
Policies: Problems and Pitfalls
In 1993, the Massachusetts Board of Education approved a policy
advisory for circulation to all school districts in Massachusetts.
Entitled "School Account-ability and Indicator Systems: Implications
for Policy Making in Massachusetts," the policy advisory
presented research on accountability policies and standards-based
reform. Among other findings, this policy advisory noted that:
By TAMAR LEWIN March 18, 2002 Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
PITTSBURG, Calif. — Kyle Stofle, a 10th grader at Pittsburg High School who has dyslexia and virtually unreadable handwriting, has been in special education since second grade. But Kyle, 15, has always expected to get his diploma along with the rest of the class of 2004.
[A Note from FairTest: this report focuses on New York City, but contains strong arguments and a good set of references.]Institute for Education & Social Policy Steinhardt School of Education New York University and National Center for Schools and Communities Fordham UniversityMarch 2004
by Richard L. Allington, Ph.D., University of Florida, in Issues in Education: Contributions from Educational Psychology. Adapted by CalCARE and FairTest.
Here are twelve strategies that have been used to improve test scores without improving achievement, as reported in research reports and media accounts: 1. Alter the answer sheets (cheat). Change kids' wrong answers to right ones. Or tell kids to only answer the questions they know and leave the rest blank. Then fill in the right answers for them.