Are standardized tests fair and helpful evaluation tools?
Not really. On standardized exams, all test takers answer the same questions under the same conditions, usually in multiple-choice format. Such tests reward quick answers to superficial questions. They do not measure the ability to think deeply or creatively in any field. Their use encourages a narrowed curriculum, outdated methods of instruction, and harmful practices such as grade retention and tracking.
FairTest, 12 other organizations, and prominent individuals have drafted the following a national Resolution on High-Stakes Testing. We call organizations and individuals to endorse it. We also encourage people to write letters and get organizations to endorse it; here are some tools you can use.
Across the U.S., the politically mandated misuse of standardized tests is damaging public schools and the children they serve. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s investigation of suspicious test scores around the nation is just the latest example. Experts may debate the methodology, but there is no question that cheating on standardized exams is widespread. In just the past three academic years, FairTest has documented confirmed cases of test score manipulation in 33 states plus the District of Columbia.
Dear Members of the Commission: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) is concerned about the damage done to educational equity and excellence by the use of high-stakes testing. Among the widely documented problems are: