Everyone is in favor of "high education standards" and "fair testing" of student achievement, but there is little agreement as to what these terms actually mean. High Stakes looks at how testing affects critical decisions for American students. As more and more tests are introduced into the country's schools, it becomes increasingly important to know how those tests are used--and misused--in assessing children's performance and achievements.
High Stakes focuses on how testing is used in schools to make decisions about tracking and placement, promotion and retention, and awarding or withholding high school diplomas. This book sorts out the controversies that emerge when a test score can open or close gates on a student's educational pathway. The expert panel:
Proposes how to judge the appropriateness of a test. Explores how to make tests reliable, valid, and fair. Puts forward strategies and practices to promote proper test use. Recommends how decisionmakers in education should--and should not--use test results. The book discusses common misuses of testing, their political and social context, what happens when test issues are taken to court, special student populations, social promotion, and more.
High Stakes will be of interest to anyone concerned about the long-term implications for individual students of picking up that Number 2 pencil: policymakers, education administrators, test designers, teachers, and parents.
National Research Council. High Stakes: Testing for Tracking, Promotion, and Graduation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
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