fact sheets

Recommendations for Overhauling ESEA/NCLB

The Forum on Educational Accountability has released its 2010 recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently named “No Child Left Behind.” FEA prepared this summary of the recommendations. (PDF file)

Position Paper on Assessment for Learning

from the Third International Conference on Assessment for Learning

Dunedin, New Zealand, March 2009

(NOTE: For a formated printable PDF of this document click here.)

Paying Teachers for Student Test Scores Damages Schools and Undermines Learning

NOTE: for a PDF formatted version of this fact sheet click here)

Independent researchers have found that evaluating and paying teachers for test scores is either damaging or irrelevant to improved learning.*  Unfortunately, even evidence of harm does not seem to affect the growing popularity of such schemes. Policymakers, including U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, should stop promoting this failed approach.

Confronting the Myths of No Child Left Behind

Supporters of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law use many arguments to defend the controversial law. The strongest-sounding arguments have little to do with the law’s actual provisions, while others are simply false. We have prepared this fact sheet to help people reply to the various claims made in defense of NCLB; sort, pick and adapt the points you need. 

All children can learn to high levels.

The Proper Use of End-of-Course Exams in Determining High School Graduation

States and districts should not bar students from graduating based solely on standardized test scores. The Standards on Educational and Psychological Testing of the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association and National Council on Measurement in Education states that a major decision about a student should not be made "on the basis of a single test score." Dozens of educational and civil rights organizations join FairTest in endorsing this basic principle and opposing high-stakes graduation exams.

Why Graduation Tests/Exit Exams Fail to Add Value to High School Diplomas

What is the "No Child Left Behind" Law?

What is the "No Child Left Behind" Law?

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a federal law that provides money for extra educational assistance for poor children in return for improvements in their academic progress. NCLB is the most recent version of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

States set educational proficiency level

Under the U. S. constitution, states have the primary responsibility for public education. However, if states want to receive federal NCLB funds, they must agree to the law's requirements to:

A FairTest Position Statement on NCLB

Why “No Child Left Behind”

Will Fail Our Children

A FairTest Position Statement on

“No Child Left Behind,” the name of the federal
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, describes a worthy goal
for our nation. Tragically, the legislation will exacerbate,
not solve, the real problems that cause many children to be left

What's Wrong with Graduation and Promotion Tests

"High-stakes" tests are exams used to make important decisions about students, such as graduation or grade promotion. Decades of research shows the key reasons why test scores should never be the determining factor in making major decisions about students:

The Dangerous Consequences of High-Stakes Standardized Testing

Tests are called "high-stakes" when they used to make major decisions about a student, such as high school graduation or grade promotion. To be high stakes, a test has to be very important in the decision process or be able to override other information (for example, a student does not graduate if s/he does not pass the test regardless of how well s/he did in school). Currently, 17 states require students to pass a test to graduate, and 7 more are planning such tests.

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