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High-Stakes Testing, Uncertainty, and Student Learning

author: Audrey Amrein, David. David Berliner
description: "An analysis of eighteen states with severe consequences attached to their testing programs... reveals that if the intended goal of high-stakes testing policy is to increase student learning, then that policy is not working. While a state's high-stakes test may show increased scores, there is little support in these data that such increases are anything but the result of test preparation and/or the exclusion of students from the testing process. Evidence from this study ... is that in all but one analysis, student learning is indeterminate, remains at the same level it was before the policy was implemented, or actually goes down when high-stakes testing policies are instituted. Because clear evidence for increased student learning is not found... it is concluded that there is need for debate and transformation of current high-stakes testing policies."

URL link:
published in: EPAA (Education Policy Analysis Archives)
published: 03/02/2002
posted to site: 04/11/2002