Articles and Research Reports on Testing
- "Accountability" Versus Science in the Bilingual Education Debate, by James Crawford Feature Articles from Language Policy Research Unit, AZ. State Univ., 2002
- Assessments and Accountability, by Robert L. Linn for Educational Researcher Online. Questions regarding the impact, validity, and generalizability of reported gains, and the credibility of results in high-stakes accountability uses are discussed.
- Challenging High-Stakes Standardized Testing: Working to Build an Anti-racist, Progressive Social Movement in Public Education, By Alex Caputo-Pearl
- The Development and Impact of High Stakes Testing
- Educational Assessment: Expanded Expectations and Challenges (1992 Thorndike Award Address) Robert Linn CSE Technical, Summary Report 351
- Education For A Classless Society: The Jeffersonian Tradition, by James Bryant Conant for The Atlantic Monthly
Charter Day Address delivered at the University of California on March 28, 1940
- The Great Sorting, by Nicholas Lemann for The Atlantic Monthly
The first mass administrations of a scholastic -aptitude test led with surprising speed to the idea that the nation's leaders would be the people who did well on tests.
- High Stakes Are for Tomatoes, by Peter Schrag for The Atlantic Monthly
Statewide testing of students, with penalties for failure, has run into opposition from parents across the political spectrum.
- The High Stake of High-Stakes Testing by Dave Orphal, Published in Alternative Network Journal.
- High-Stakes Testing: Opportunities and Risks for Students of Color, English-Language Learners, and Students with Disabilities, by Jay P. Heubert for the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. This paper focuses not on school or teacher accountability but only on tests that have high stakes for individual students.
- The Human Face of the High-Stakes Testing Story, by Linda Nathan, Phi Delta Kappan, April 2002
- In Testing, One Size May Not Fit All By Tamar Lewin, New York Times, March 18, 2002. Article on testing and children in special education programs.
- MCAS Alert, September 2000. FairTest research report on the effects of the MCAS tests on Massachusetts' dropout rates, 2000.
- MCAS Alert, June 2002. FairTest research report on the problems with using MCAS tests to judge school quality.
- The Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education, by Walt Haney, Education Policy Analysis Archives, Vol. 8, No. 41, 2000
- On High Stakes Testing, by Beverly M. Gordon, for the AERA Division G Newsletter.
- Perceived Effects of the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program
Daniel Koretz, Karen Mitchell, Sheila Barron, and Sarah Keith
CSE Technical Report 409, Summary 1996
- Portfolio Driven Reform: Vermont Teachers' Understanding of Mathematical Problem Solving and Related Changes in Classroom Practice
Brian Stecher and Karen Mitchell, CSE Technical Report 400, Summary 1995
- Predictable Losers in Testing Schemes, by Peter Sacks, School Administrator Web Edition, December 2000
- Racial Profiling and Punishment in U.S. Schools: How Zero Tolerance Policies and High Stakes Testing Subvert Academic Excellence and Racial Equity, by the Applied Research Center's ERASE (Expose Rasicm & Advance School Excellence) Project
- "The Relative Equitability of High-Stakes Testing versus Teacher-Assigned Grades: An Analysis of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)," Graduate school researchers Robert T. Brennan, James S. Kim, Melodi Wenz Gross and Gary N. Siperstein; Harvard Educational Review, March 2002
- Rethinking "High Stakes:" Lessons from the US and England and Wales, by
William A. Firestone, David Mayrowetz, Teachers College Record, August 2000
- Standards, Testing, and Curriculum Control, by E. Wayne Ross for Theory and Research in Social Education
- Student Self-Portraits as Test-Takers: Variations, Contextual Differences, and Assumptions about Motivation, by Anne Wheelock, Damian J. Bebell, and Walt Haney
- Testing: The Needs and Dangers, Civil Rights Alert, UCLA (formerly Harvard) Civil Rights Project
- Testing Times: A School Case Study, by Ivor Goodson & Martha Foote for the Education Policy Analysis Archives
The account here is a chronicle of the resistance of a particular school, the Durant School, to the global changes that would destroy its local ecology—a school whose fight against the imposition of state standards and mandated tests has been a fight to preserve its integrity, its mission, and its autonomy.
- Understanding Dropouts: Statistics, Strategies, and High-Stakes Testing, by Alexandra Beatty, Ulric Neisser, William T. Trent, and Jay P. Heubert, Editors for the National Academy Press
Research and policy questions about the role of testing in student decisions to drop out of school.
- The Use of Tests as Part of High-Stakes Decision-Making for Students: A Resource Guide for Educators and Policy-Makers, by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Also read FairTest's statement in response to the OCR testing guidelines
- Using standardized tests to make high-stake decisions on English-language learners: dilemmas and critical issues by María del Rosario Basterra for Equity Review
- What Can Student Drawings Tell Us About High-Stakes Testing in Massachusetts? Anne Wheelock
- What Do Test Scores in Texas Tell Us?, by Stephen P. Klein, Laura S. Hamilton, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Brian M. Stecher, RAND Report
Related Organizations and Web Sites
Advancement Project is a policy and legal action group that promotes universal opportunity and a racially just democracy by: Partnering with communities and their lawyers in challenging inequality; providing new tools and resources, such as research, litigation and policy analysis, to community struggles for opportunity and inclusion; using sophisticated communication strategies to heighten public a awareness of issues of opportunity and equity; taking catalytic action that induces progress; showcasing successful community action and promoting new models of lawyering, and; linking community organizations to forge collective action for change.
AEA: American Evaluation Association
The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation. AEA's mission is to: 1) improve evaluation practices and methods; 2) increase evaluation use; 3) promote evaluation as a profession, and 4) support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.
AERA: American Educational Research Association
AERA is an international professional organization with the primary goal of advancing educational research and its practical application. Its more than 22,000 members are educators; administrators; directors of research, testing or evaluation in federal, state and local agencies; counselors; evaluators; graduate students; and behavioral scientists. The broad range of disciplines represented by the membership includes education, psychology, statistics, sociology, history, economics, philosophy, anthropology, and political science. A position statement concerning high-stakes testing, based on the 1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, is located on the website.
Alfie Kohn website
A well-recognized critic of high-stakes testing, Alfie Kohn' has written extensively on the impact of standardized testing on teaching and learning. The website posts a section devoted to rescuing schools from "tougher standards."
The Coalition for Responsible Testing (Board Watch) is dedicated to overseeing the activities of the College Board and advocating for students on SAT related and other testing issues.
Buros Institute of Mental Measurements
The Buros Institute of Mental Measurements provides assistance, expertise, and information to users of commercially published tests, and promotes meaningful and appropriate test selection, utilization, and practice. The Buros Institute encourages improved test development and measurement research through thoughtful, critical analysis of measurement instruments and the promotion of an open dialogue regarding contemporary measurement issues.
Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence (CREDE)
The CREDE mission is to assist the nation's diverse students at risk of educational failure to achieve academic excellence. Central to its mission, CREDE's research and development focuses on critical issues in the education of linguistic and cultural minority students and those placed at risk by factors of race, poverty, and geographic location. One program area in particular focuses on the assessment of language minority students.
Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) is a partnership of UCLA, the University of Colorado, Stanford University, RAND, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Southern California, Educational Testing Service, and the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. The CRESST mission focuses on the assessment of educational quality, addressing persistent problems in the design and use of assessment systems to serve multiple purposes.
Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy (CSTEEP)
The Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy (CSTEEP) is an educational research organization located at Boston College in the School of Education. Since its inception in 1980, CSTEEP has conducted research on: testing, evaluation, and public policy; studies to improve school assessment practices; and international comparative research.
Civil Society Institute Results for America - good material on schools, NCLB, testing and more.
The Consortium for Equity in Standards and Testing
The Consortium for Equity in Standards and Testing (CTEST) focuses attention on how educational standards, assessments, and tests can be used more fairly.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation seeks to provide 1) balanced information concerning educational assessment and 2) resources to encourage responsible test use. The most complete testing web site.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education website offers manuals, brief articles, annotated bibliographies, reviews and summaries of outstanding publications, and conference announcements in urban education.
Exemplars offers classroom-tested, standards-based assessment and instruction materials.
International Reading Association
The International Reading Association is a professional membership organization dedicated to promoting high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, and encouraging the lifetime reading habit. A position paper against high-stakes testing is located on their website.
The Learning Record (LR) is part of a system of accessing and reporting student achievement, kindergarten through university. The LR is a classroom-based, standards-referenced approach to assessment which improves teaching and learning and also provides public accountability for student progress. Highly recommended by FairTest.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
Founded in 1968 in San Antonio, Texas, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is a leading nonprofit Latino litigation, advocacy and educational outreach institution in the United States.
MALDEF's mission is to foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of the 35 million Latinos living in the United States and to empower the Latino community to full participate in our society.
National Association for Bilingual Education
"The National Association for Bilingual Education is the only professional organization at the national level wholly devoted to representing both English language learners and bilingual education professionals. Along with our affiliate organizations in 23 states, we represent a combined membership of more than 20,000 bilingual and English-as-a-second-language teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, university professors and students, researchers, advocates, policymakers, and parents." Among other things, NABE is active in the effort to overhaul No Child Left Behind.
National Assessment Governing Board
The Governing Board is an independent, bipartisan group whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. The Governing Board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the oldest civil rights organization in the United States. The fundamental goal of the NAACP's education advocacy agenda is to provide all students access to quality education. The NAACP Education Department seeks to accomplish this goal through policy development, training, collaboration, negotiation, legislation, litigation, and agitation.
National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy (NBETPP)
The National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy (NBETPP), housed in the School of Education at Boston College, is an independent organization that monitors testing in the United States. The Board provides ongoing information on the uses and outcomes of educational testing for decision making purposes, paying special attention to groups historically underserved by the educational system.
National Center for Education Statistics
The center collects data from many sources covering all areas of education, including elementary/secondary education, postsecondary education and much in tehw ay of interantional assessments. Particularly see the National Assessment of Educational Progress reports.
National Coalition of Education Activists (NCEA)
NCEA is a multiracial network of families, school staff, union and community activists, and others organizing for equity and fundamental changes in local school districts. Its purpose is to support activists in their efforts to develop, promote, and implement progressive school reforms, to provide a counter to the right, and to fight racism and other forms of institutional bias. NCEA was incorporated in 1991.
National Council of Teachers of English
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is a professional association for educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts. NCTE promotes the development of literacy, the use of language to construct personal and public worlds and to achieve full participation in society, through the learning and teaching of English and the related arts and sciences of language. NCTE's website contains a position paper on writing assessments.
National Education Association (NEA)
NEA is America's oldest and largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 in Philadelphia and now headquartered in Washington, D.C., NEA claims more than 2.5 million members who work at every level of education, from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliates in every state as well as in over 13,000 local communities across the United States. A special section of NEA's website contains https://www.nea.org/accountability/index.html
National PTA (Parent Teacher Association)
National PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. A not-for-profit association of parents, educators, students, and other citizens active in their schools and communities, PTA is a leader in reminding our nation of its obligations to children.
Network of Educators on the Americas
NECA is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit organization that promotes social and economic justice through public education.
North Central Regional Education Laboratory (NCREL)
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping schools--and the students they serve--reach their full potential. NCREL is one of ten Regional Educational Laboratories and provides research-based resources and assistance to educators, policy makers, and communities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
One of RAND Education's key goals is to help policy makers judge the performance of the nation's education system. This involves evaluating large-scale tests and exploring new approaches for measuring student achievement, establishing ways to compare the performance of students across states and internationally, interpreting trends in student test scores, and understanding the effects of policies that rely on accountability and assessment. RAND posts many of its assessment reports on the web; others can be ordered for a small fee.
Founded in 1986 by activist teachers, Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit, independent publisher of educational materials. They advocate the reform of elementary and secondary education, with a strong emphasis on issues of equity and social justice. They publish several resources related to testing, and print the Rethinking Schools Journal.
Rural School and Community Trust
This group's mission is to enlarge student learning and improve community life by strengthening relationships between rural schools and communities and engaging students in community-based work.
Students Against Testing
Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools.
Southern Early Childhood Association
Since 1948 the Southern Early Childhood Association has brought together preschool, kindergarten, and primary teachers and administrators, care givers, program directors, and individuals working with and for families, to promote quality care and education for young children. Their website has a position statement on the assessment of young children.
The Civil Rights Project
Based at UCLA (formerly Harvard), The Civil Rights Project is dedicated to an ongoing assessment of the prospects for justice and equal opportunity under law for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. To do this the group convenes conferences and round tables, produces original research, trains students, policy officials and others, and improves the channels through which research findings are communicated.
- Assessment: At a Glance, George Lucas Educational Foundation videos about classroom-based formative assessment
- Beyond the Standards Movement: Defending Quality Education in an Age of Test Scores, featuring Alfie Kohn. Produced and sold by National Professional Resources. Order on-line or by calling 800-453-7461.
- The Schools Our Children Deserve, featuring Alfie Kohn. A lecture based on the book of the same name, originally broadcast on C-Span in 1999. Order from C-Span’s archives on-line or by calling 800-277-2698. Tape #153394.
- Secrets of the SAT, a PBS Frontline program on the SAT. Video and transcript are available.
- Testing...Testing...Testing, from PBS's The Merrow Report
- K-12 Testing
- University Testing
- Fact Sheets
- Get Involved
- Other Resources