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.
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.
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).
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
[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