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"Experts said that no one test alone will provide a full picture on
how a student is doing and what the student needs. "The most important thing
is the parents and teachers have to be informed what the assessments can and
cannot do,'' said Suzanne Lane, a University of Pittsburgh education
professor. "You have to think of not just one assessment. You have to think
about an assessment system.''" Eleanor Chute,
test scores is multiple choice Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students from
by Joshua S. Wyner, John M. Bridgeland, John J. DiIulio, Jr., A Report by the
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation & Civic Enterprises with original resear ch by
- There are far fewer lower-income students achieving at the highest levels
than there should be, they disproportionately fall out of the high-achieving
group during elementary and high school, they rarely rise into the
ranks of high achievers during those periods, and, perhaps most
disturbingly, far too few ever graduate from college or go on to graduate
school. [It] is not that high-achieving students from lower-income
backgrounds are suffering more than other lower-income students, but that
their talents are similarly under-nurtured... (requires Adobe Reader)
Grades or Standardized Test Scores Make the Student?
If you have a very bright student, home-school him. My son was reading a
college-level book in third grade. Academically, we figured he'd learn and grow
regardless of the environment. We believed childhood should include high school
sports teams and clubs... We decided to leave him in public school. To
minimize frustration, we focused my son on learning, not grades. If he could get
a 100 on an exam without doing the homework, we believed his time was better
spent doing another activity in which he actually learned something...
Students in the Era of NCLB
the Fordham Institute on results of NAEP studies, by Tom Loveless, Steve
Farkas and Ann Duffett with forward by Chester Finn and Michael Petrill
- While the nation’s lowest-achieving youngsters made rapid gains from 2000
to 2007, the performance of top students was languid. This pattern—big
gains for low achievers and lesser ones for high achievers—is associated
with the introduction of accountability systems in general, not just NCLB.
In spite of teachers' own personal beliefs, low-achieving students receive
dramatically more attention from teachers. Low-income, black, and
Hispanic high achievers were more likely than low achievers to be taught by
experienced teachers... (requires
Adobe Reader) Also read Laura Vanderkam's blog on the report
Did NCLB hurt gifted students?
Child Left Behind
by Tom Loveless and Michael J. Petrilli, in
New York Times
- The new study, by the independent Center on Education Policy, showed that
more students are reaching the “advanced” level on state tests now than in
2002. This led the authors to conclude that there is little evidence that
high-achieving students have been shortchanged.
If only that were so. But like many miracle-drug claims, this conclusion is
Education Agency Released Tests, Answer Keys, and Scoring Guides
- TAKS tests, scored right on the 'net, for grades 3-11 in reading,
mathematics, writing, writing prompt, and science, plus exit level / end of
course tests in many subjects. Use these tests to show your child's
Utah schools poised to join NCLB's 'pass' list by Jennifer Toomer-Cook,
Tiffany Erickson and Laura Hancock, in the Deseret Morning News
- Relatively obscure federal rules are lifting 34 Utah schools off No Child
Left Behind's dark side, and more could follow in the coming weeks.
[The] schools that were identified last month as failing to make "adequate
yearly progress" on math and language arts tests now are set to pass federal
muster based on rules allowing test scores to be averaged over three
What this year's top science pupils would have got in 1965 by Richard
Garner, Education Editor, The Independent
- (U.K.) High-flying GCSE students set for an A or A* pass scored zero
points in a mock science exam which included old O-level questions.
The RSC called the test, taken by just over 1,300 of the country's brightest
16-year-olds, the first hard evidence of a "catastrophic slippage" in exam
standards. Too many teachers were "teaching to the test" because of
the pressure of performance league tables, so students were missing out on
background information to help them understand their subject...
the SAT by Charles Murray
- "The SAT’s independent role in predicting freshman grade point turned out
to be so small that knowing the SAT score added next to nothing to an
admissions officer’s ability to forecast how an applicant will do in
college—the reason to give the test in the first place. ...If I am
wrong, and the pre-1994 SAT measured g much better than the SAT
used for the UC study, then I hope some disaffected College Board
psychometrician leaks that news immediately. I will thereupon join a crusade
to restore the old SAT."
- More recently... Debate
on Ending SAT Gains Ground by Patricia Cohen, The New York Times... [Murray]
concludes that college admissions offices should reject the SAT and substitute
other standardized tests: subject or so-called achievement tests that gauge
knowledge in specific disciplines like history or chemistry...
Frankenstein: Understanding and Taming the Monster by Sherman Dorn
podcasts and more at Accountability
- Provides a broader perspective on the school accountability debate by
exploring the contradictions inherent in high-stakes testing, and
explains the historical and social origins of test-based accountability: the
political roots of accountability, why we trust test scores while we
distrust teachers, the assumptions behind formulaic accountability systems,
and the weaknesses with the current carrot-and-stick approach to motivating
teachers. Answers the questions of educators and parents who want to
understand the origins of accountability. Challenges the beliefs of fierce
advocates and opponents of high stakes testing, and provides a rescue plan
vs. SAT - which test should I take and why? by Eric Hebert
- The better test to take? It's really not a question that can be answered
completely, and will constantly be one of debate because of its subjective
nature. While doing the research for this article, this author has made his
own decision based on what each test seems to stand for. The SAT is designed
Pressure by Vicki Abeles, The New York Times
- Video features the stories of students and teachers of Advanced Placement
classes and the pressures they face in our achievement-obsessed culture...
Era of Scores, Schools Fight Over Gifted Kids by Daniel Golden, The Wall
- In a test-driven U.S. educational system, gifted students — and their test
scores — are becoming a valuable and sometimes misused commodity. Spurred by
performance standards set by the 2001 "No Child Left Behind" law, many schools
are trying to keep their top students, rather than send them on to special
programs designed to challenge them...
- Educational Testing Service (ETS)
- Home of the tests: AP, SAT, and more, with information and practice test
- EDUTEST® The Most Advanced,
Effective Internet Testing & Assessment
- On-line tests in math and verbal for grade levels 2 through 8
Life, What Stanley H. Kaplan taught us about the S.A.T. by Malcolm
- In proving that the S.A.T. was coach-able, Stanley Kaplan did something
else, which was of even greater importance. He undermined the use of aptitude
tests as a means of social engineering...
- The Explore Test: A
Talent Search by Linda
- Questions and answers about the Explore Test, a commonly used Talent
Search identification test
Grader Suspended For Not Answering A WASL Question by Keith Eldridge,
- A fourth grader has been suspended for a week because he refused to answer
a question on the statewide test known as the WASL. Opponents of the test
say it is proof the WASL has gone too far...
Glossary of Measurement Terms Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement's
- Looking for a definition of criterion-referenced vs. norm-referenced,
grade equivalent, percentile or stanine? Here are the definitions...
Shakespeare Might Flunk SAT Essay Test NPR Weekend Edition (audio)
- John Katzman makes the case, in an article in the Atlantic Monthly, that
Ernest Hemingway and Shakespeare would not score well on the essay...
school graduation exam requirement linked to lower SAT scores from Ball
- High school exit exams have come under scrutiny... "Our study takes
it a step further; not only are the tests not helpful for determining success,
but they might actually be detrimental," Marchant said. "When standards that
are designed to guide instruction become the focus of high-stakes testing,
content and practice can be narrowed in ways that are counterproductive to the
overall success of students."
- How Proficiency
Tests Fall Short (Let Me Count the Ways) by James R. Delisle, in
- Proficiency tests, this decade's panacea for all of education's ills, are
the latest vehicle for removing from teachers their right to be professional
the New SAT Test by John Cloud in TIME Online Edition
- America's college gatekeeper is changing dramatically. Get ready for
advanced algebra, an essay—and, yes, the return of grammar. An exclusive look
at the new exam—and how it may hurt some students' scores
test scores is multiple choice by Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- A second-grader scores in the 60th percentile in reading -- better than 60
percent of the kids who took the test -- and is deemed proficient. In third
grade, the same student ranks in the 80th percentile -- even higher -- but is
labeled not proficient. What happened?
Doesn't Test for Success by Joanne V. Creighton
- [Mt. Holyoke's study] found no meaningful difference in academic
performance between students who did not submit scores and those who did.
The study shows a one-tenth of a point difference between the aggregate
grade point averages of submitters and non-submitters, and this difference
is mitigated the further along the student is in her college career....
Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability by
Derek Neal and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
- "We were told to cross off the kids who would never pass. We were told
to cross off the kids who, if we handed them the test tomorrow, they would
pass. And then the kids who were left over, those were the kids we were
supposed to focus on." [Accountability systems] provide weak incentives
to devote extra attention to students who are clearly proficient already...
(requires Adobe Reader)
Weasel School of Writing
by Crispin Sartwell, Dickenson
- Today's educational establishment is making actual illiteracy look good,
like an act of humanity and rebellion. If your no-child-left-behind funds
depend on your test scores, you will teach your kids to write essays that move
a computer to tears. But the idea that computers can grade essays in the first
place is one that could only have occurred to people who have no idea how to
write or how to read...
for Measure by Thomas Toch, Washington Monthly
- NCLB's accountability
system was probaby the best that could be achieved in 2001. But the flaws in its
testing mandate have become more and more evident with each passing year. In
particular, NCLB's rating system holds schools responsible for factors they
can't control. Studies have shown that such things as English proficiency,
family income, and parental education have a major influence on test scores, but
NCLB, by judging schools on the basis of whether enough students pass a set of
tests once a year instead of on how much schools increase students' learning
over the course of a year, as the value-added model does, fails to account for
that reality. Respected measurement experts have declared NCLB “scientifically
Miscalculation on Scores Shows a Weakness of Tests by Anemona
Hartocollis, New York Times
- CTB/McGraw-Hill, publishers of the TerraNova!
The error on the CTB/McGraw-Hill test, which the company said also affected
eight other systems... The problems, critics say, graphically illustrate why
many educators and testing companies themselves advise against using a single
test given on a single day as the sole criterion for making decisions...
York 8th-Graders Boycott Practice Exam But Teacher May Get Ax by Juan
- More than 160 students in six different classes at Intermediate
School 318 in the South Bronx - virtually the entire eighth grade - refused to
take last Wednesday’s three-hour practice exam for next month’s statewide social
studies test... so let's blame the social studies teacher. So they're
going to fire the teacher?!!?
teacher, suspended for refusing to give WASL, calls test "bad for kids"
By Linda Shaw, Seattle Times. Sixth grade science teacher wanted to take a
stand against a test he considers harmful to students, teachers, schools and
test resister wins multiple scholarships by George N. Schmidt. A Texas
student who resisted the TAKS test has won several college scholarships, in part
because of her courageous stand against test mania... Marin
students boycott state test: Achievement test boycotted in Marin district,
Schools left ineligible for state reward funds, by Kelly St. John, San
Francisca Chronicle. Administrators of an affluent Marin County school district
were stunned this week by a student protest against standardized testing that
will leave two of California's top high schools ineligible for state reward
money. More than 35 percent at Sir Francis Drake High School's and more than 22
percent of Tamalpais High School's ninth-, 10th- and 11th-grade students got
their parents to sign waivers excusing them... Blue
Books Closed, Students Protest State Tests by Jacques Steinberg, New York
Times. The largest protest was at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, about
100 miles east of here and near Harvard, where more than 100 students boycotted
the test, many of them assembling in the school auditorium for a teach-in that
featured representatives of the ACLU and FairTest... And don't miss
Not On the Test
forms of CTB's tests yielded less than the 99th percentile for a student who
got all questions correct. Is that the case with TerraNova? CTB / McGraw
- If 20 students out of 100 make a perfect score, such a score could be
assigned a Percentile Rank of anywhere between 80 and 99. One approach would
be to assign the lowest score in the possible range of Percentiles (80);
another would be to assign the highest possible Percentile (99); and still a
third would be to assign the Percentile that is in the middle of the range
(90). The last is the practice followed by CTB/McGraw-Hill: we believe that to
assign the lowest or highest Percentile would tend to understate or
overstate the student's true level of achievement...
Minute Test-taking Tips by Ronald L. Rubenzer
- The "testing triathlon": being fact smart, test smart, stress smart.
Left-brain, right-brain, and both-brain activities to assure test
preparedness... (requires Adobe Reader)
Proficient at What?
by James R. Delisle, in
- Musings from a teacher on test day
Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals about College Readiness in Reading
- Based on 2005 ACT-tested high school graduates, it appears that only about
half of our nation’s ACT-tested high school students are ready for
college-level reading. What’s worse, more students are on track to being
ready for college-level reading in eighth and tenth grade than are actually
ready by the time they reach twelfth grade....
Gauges More Than Collegiate Success
- new research shows that the test may go far beyond predicting college
success; when taken in the early teens, it may actually foretell a person’s
success and life satisfaction after university....
Shrub Who Stole Learning by a teenager
- ...Yes! Away would go questions and the mess and the noise,
that comes with real learning, by real girls and boys,
away with the teaching, and laughter and play,
for it would be test prep that carried the day...
Finds Shortcoming in New Law on Education by Greg Winter, The New York
- The academic growth that students experience in a given school year has
apparently slowed since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the education law
that was intended to achieve just the opposite, a new study has found...
TAKS to task by Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, San Antonio Express News
- When Kimberly first decided to take a stand
against standardized testing by boycotting the Texas Assessment of Knowledge
and Skills, critics from all sides begged her to change her mind. Kim
said her parents stood behind her decision to boycott the test, even if it
jeopardized her college chances. ... She said she hopes she's proven a
a job? Hand over your SAT results by Rebecca L. Weber
- Ironically, just at a moment when more colleges are questioning the value
of standardized testing in the admissions process, some companies are taking a
second look at the old scores...
Wrong with Teaching to the Test? by Dave Posner,
Phi Delta Kappan
- In Darwinian terms, we are in effect putting our kids (and their
teachers!) on an isolated atoll under the evolutionary force of a strange
selection process based on standardized tests. The inevitable product of this
process is a species that is as custom-engineered as any carbon-based life
form can be to solve trivial problems. Like most exotic species, this one is
unlikely to be able to adapt to and compete in the larger world...
Testing Fails by David B. Cohen,
Teacher Magazine (free
- I’m not suggesting that test scores are without value, or that teachers
can’t be assessed and expected to account for their practices. However, it
is vital that everyone who cares about teacher quality understand how many
variables affect measurements of student performance...
Last updated March 26, 2019