fact sheets

How Standardized Testing Damages Education (Updated July 2012)


How do schools use standardized tests?

Why "No Child Left Behind" Will Fail Our Children

Why “No Child Left Behind” Will Fail Our Children

A FairTest Position Statement on NCLB

“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 behind.

The Value of Formative Assessment

The current wave of test-based "accountability" makes it seem as though all assessment could be reduced to "tough tests" attached to high stakes. The assumption, fundamentally unproven, is that such tests produce real improvements in student learning better than do other educational methods.

Questions for Test Proponents About "New" University Admissions Exams

WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE THAT A NEW OR REVISED EXAM WILL PREDICT COLLEGE GRADES MORE ACCURATELY THAN CURRENT TESTS DO? The manufacturers of both the SAT and ACT admit that a student's high school grades provide better forecasts of undergraduate performance than their tests do. How will changing the format or contents of an entrance exam improve its "predictive validity"? Can test proponents provide independent data to back up their claims?


Media Strategy Chart: Advantages and Limitations

 Press Releases (News)  
  • Reaches wide circulation through print and electronic media
  • Free publicity
  • Press Coverage lends clout
  • Not good for a limited/small audience
  • May not be best place f
  • Computerized Testing: More Questions than Answers

    Despite many unresolved technical and equity-related problems, test-makers are plunging headlong into new computerized methods of administering multiple-choice exams. Unfortunately, simply automating bad tests does nothing to solve their long-standing problems and may actually compound them.


    Gender Bias in College Admissions Tests

    The SAT I
    Approximately 1.3 million high school students annually take the Educational Testing Service's SAT I, America's oldest and most widely used college entrance exam. It is composed of two sections, Verbal and Math, each scored on a 200-800 point scale. Test questions are almost exclusively multiple-choice; a few "student-produced response" questions require the student to "grid in" the answer.

    Gender Bias in Proposition 16 and 48

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) use of test scores to determine freshman athletic eligibility means that female athletes have two strikes against them. Not only do women have access to fewer athletic opportunities and less athletic financial aid than men, they are also more likely to be disqualified from even competing for these slots. This discrimination is based not on women's athletic or academic skills, but on biased tests that do not accurately predict their ability to succeed in college studies.


    What's Wrong with Proposition 48 and 16?

    What is Proposition 16?

    "Healthy" Medical School Admissions

    What is the MCAT?
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