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The High-Stakes Test Mess

Phi Delta Kappan

Tests are natural part of education, from the quizzes, essays, and classroom tests that teachers have traditionally administered to the high-stakes tests that states use to make decisions about graduation, promotion, and school funding and governance. Over the last 15 years, the movement for higher standards and accountability in our schools has led several states—and now the federal government with the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) Act—to adopt test-based accountability policies. However, when we select certain tests, mostly of the standardized paper-and-pencil variety, and designate only those as “high-stakes,” problems arise—some quite serious.

This item is categorized under: Federal/State Departments of Education