k-12

Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools

Alfie Kohn

All of us, as parents and citizens, want to make sure our schools
are doing a good job and our children are learning. Unfortunately,
the MCAS exams-and the "tougher standards" philosophy
that they reflect-not only fail to provide meaningful information
but actually interfere with the goal of providing students with
a high-quality education.

The High Stake of High-Stakes Testing

The High Stake of High-Stakes Testing

Dave Orphal
Teacher
Zoe Barnum High School
orphald@eurekacityschools.org

Abstract

This article first appeared in Alternative Network Journal.

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.

TESTING PLUS

As we enter into a national debate on school improvement and greater public school accountability with a heavy emphasis on testing, educators are concerned that a solitary focus on testing ignores important opportunities to help all students achieve at high levels. Overreliance on testing could have the unintended consequence of hurting more than helping.

Head Start Letter

February 28, 2003
 
Dear Representative:
 

Letter from FairTest to all Presidential Candidates. October 2007

October 25, 2007

Dear Candidate for President:

As the only national organization with testing reform as its focus, FairTest has a more than 20-year history of working to improve assessment of America's students. We have addressed such issues as the proper role of college admissions exams in university admissions, state graduation and grade promotion tests, and the role of assessment in the No Child Left Behind law (NCLB).

Documents and Articles

 

  • FairTest Fact Sheet: The Value of Formative Assessment HTML

     

  • The Expert Panel on Assessment recommends overhaul of NCLB testing and accountability provisions.

    • See the full report:

Documents and Articles on Authentic Assessment and Accountability

 

Attributes of a School to Assess in a Review

Physical Facilities:

Size
Location, Accessibility
Scope: Adequacy for All Purposes
Physical Condition and Repair
Cleanliness; Care of the Building
Attractiveness
Display of Student Work and Achievement in the Building
Level of Student Respect for the Physical Facilities

Climate:

A Learner-Centered School Accountability Model: An Alternative to High Stakes Testing

 

Ken Jones

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