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  • “All students are entitled to sufficient test preparation so their performance will not be adversely affected by unfamiliarity with item format or by ignorance of appropriate test-taking strategies.” (p. 290)

  • “In general, large-scale assessments should not be used to make high-stakes decisions about students who are less than 8 years old or enrolled below grade 3.” (p. 279)

  • Recommendations related to assessing mathematical understanding can be found in Principles and Standards (p. 11), Adding It Up (p. 423–424), and How People Learn (p. 24).


    Based on the discussions, findings, and recommendations in High Stakes, educators and policymakers concerned with making critical decisions about tracking, promotion, and graduation might

    • Examine all assessment policies and procedures currently in place to ensure that the spirit of fair and appropriate uses of student assessments permeates practice.

    • Analyze the purposes for which any given student assessment was developed, and ensure that these intents match the actual uses of the assessment results.

    • Ensure that no high-stakes decision about an individual student is ever made on the basis of a single measure.

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