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.
A FairTest Report by Monty Neill, Acting Executive Director January 1998
A common assumption of standards and tests-based school reform is that high-stakes testing, such as having to pass an exam for high school graduation, will produce improved learning outcomes. This view is found in the grading formula used in Quality Counts (1998), the recent Education Week report in which states receive points for having high-stakes tests.
The Readiness Project subcommittee charged with reviewing MCAS and assessment expressed an urgent need for substantive change to the current system. To underscore this sense of urgency, the subcommittee’s consensus report echoes Brown v. Board of Education, saying, “In order to move toward important new educational goals, MCAS – as the ‘system’ it was originally intended to be – must evolve significantly and that evolution must begin with deliberate speed.”