15 Aug 2006

The Result of High-Stakes Testing

Submitted by Karl Hagen
High-stakes tests come in for a lot of criticism in various quarters, not all of which is particularly well informed. One of the primary downsides, as far as I'm concerned, particularly given the way many of these tests are administered, is the corrosive effect that they can have on teachers and administrators. In this case, it appears the corruption went beyond testing irregularities to falsification of grades. One argument for standardized tests is that they serve as a cross-check on grades. But of course if the standardized tests are administered in the students' own schools, by people who stand to benefit from high scores and suffer penalties for low ones, there's no check at all.