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Standardized Testing. Media Opinions. What we will cover. Opinions pro & con for testing Internet National Council of Teachers of English Education Policy Studies Laboratory American Association of School Administrators New York City Board of Education Federal Government

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standardized testing

Standardized Testing

Media Opinions

what we will cover
What we will cover

Opinions pro & con for testing


  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Education Policy Studies Laboratory
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • New York City Board of Education
  • Federal Government
  • No Child Left Behind Act
  • Educational Testing service


  • New York Times
  • New York Post

Why Test? Implications of Tests

  • New York City Board of Education


  • CNN
  • Local News Stations


  • WNYC
  • 1010 Wins
The National Council of Teachers of English opinion on High Stakes Testing:

use of such tests cause measurable damage to teaching and learning

fail to assess accurately students’ knowledge

NCTE Resolves:

the use of any single test in making decisions is educationally unsound and unethical

harms students’ learning

displaces more thoughtful and creative curriculum

diminishes the emotional well-being of educators and children

unfairly damages the life-chances of members of vulnerable groups

NCTE calls on legislators and policymakers to:

repeal laws and policies that tie significant consequences to scores on single assessments

join with professional organizations to develop better means of improving public education

National Council of Teachers of English Website:

Summary of NCTE Resolution:


“An Analysis of Some Unintended and Negative Consequences of High-Stakes Testing” examined the unintended consequences of high-stakes tests in 16 states that have implemented high-stakes graduation exams. In those states, Amrein and Berliner found increased dropout rates, decreased graduation rates, and higher rates of younger people taking the GED equivalency exams.

Unintended and Negative Consequences of Standardized Testing:

  • High rates of holding back low-performing students in grades before tests were administered
  • Low-performing students being suspended before testing days, expelled
  • Reduced offerings in art, music, science, social studies, and physical education
  • Teachers “teaching to the test,’
  • There are enough negative unintended consequences to call into question the value of high-stakes high school graduation exams
American Association of School Administrators on standardized testing:
    • 63% of American voters do not agree that a student’s progress for one school year can be accurately summarized by a single test
    • Only 45% of voters feel that standardized test scores accurately reflect what children know about the subject being tested
    • 49% of voters disagree with the idea that students should be kept back a grade if they fail to achieve a passing score on a statewide standardized test
  • AASA strongly supports accountability and high standards for America’s public schools.
  • Testing should be a PART of how schools measure student performance. However, educating students for success in today’s society cannot be measured by ONE test alone.
Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) -- commonly known as the "The Nation's Report Card."
  • Their reasons for national standardized testing:
    • Change the odds for our kids
    • Improve chances that all children will receive high quality instruction in reading and mathematics
    • Site low performing statistics for need for a “national report card” based solely on standardized testing

No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Standardized Testing Seeks to:

  • Increase Accountability (State Standards, Getting Results, Adequate Yearly Progress, etc. )
  • Guidance (Teacher quality)
  • Legislation (Federal requirements)

Summary of ETS view on Testing:

  • Key part of the formula is good tests
    • tests that measure how well students are doing
    • provide diagnostic feedback
  • Tests provide answers
    • They help teachers make better instructional choices for their students
    • They help students -- and their parents -- understand how well they are learning what they are supposed to know and how they compare to other students
    • Good tests identify strengths as well as weaknesses
  • Tests help schools know how they compare to other schools
    • They help education leaders at the state and local level judge their performance and allocate resources
  • Tests are best used to diagnose the needs of students
    • test results also provide taxpayers with a way of "keeping score," of measuring the progress that schools are making

Times article points out flaws in standardized testing:

  • Panel report found the state's effort to establish rigorous math standards was deeply flawed and needed to be overhauled.
  • The test is required for graduation, and only about 37% of those who took it passed
  • Several suburban districts in Westchester and on Long Island had announced that they would no longer give the physics exam
  • Ann Cook of Time Out From Testing says, "This adds up to a complete fiasco. What's happening here is that the commissioner is attempting to camouflage the real problem, which is a failed system of assessing students."
    • Time Out From Testing is a coalition of groups critical of the Regents testing program

Post presents Klein’s arguments for high stakes testing:

  • Schools Chancellor Joel Klein yesterday strongly urged state lawmakers to resist rolling back tough graduation standards
  • Klein defended standardized testing as a way to gauge not only how students are performing, but how individual schools are doing
  • "I feel about testing the way many people feel about democracy: It's highly imperfect, but better than all the options,"
  • Critics, including several members of the legislative panel, say testing should be a component - but not the only factor - in determining whether students graduate.


States ranked at

standardized testing

What do high performing testing states have in common?

  • Budget (states devising their own tests vs. buying from other companies)
  • Time (tracking results, evaluating students’ scores )
  • Communication (reaching out to parents, assessing students)
  • #1 New York
  • #2 Massachusetts
  • #3 Texas
  • #48 South Dakota
  • #49 Rhode Island
  • #50 Montana

Washington Assessment of Student Learning

Preliminary testing to assess students’ skills before they take standardized tests


Putting Tests to the Test

"My heart hurts that he has to do this on his own," Michelle Murphy said of her son's testing experience.

"If you want to know how your child is doing, you don't wait seven months to get the results of a standardized test. You just ask your kid's teacher," advised Judi Hirsch, an Oakland, Calif., algebra teacher who introduced the NEA measure.


The Crime:

Conner Murphy of Minden, Nevada took his pencil and drew a line through the answer column of the state`s reading, writing and math test.

The Action:

He is boycotting the state’s mandatory standardized testing policy. The school is threatening to place him in jail.

The Argument:

Standardized tests force teachers to focus on getting ready for the tests rather than teaching their students.


Continuing coverage and in-depth, ongoing discussion of education related issues including standardized testing.

Many viewpoints and perspectives aired on a number of programs.

  • WNYC - The Brian Lehrer Show: Dean’s List (September 30, ......Standardizedtesting can make or break a student's future career. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, an in-depth look at the testing industry. Quiz Show Monday ...
  • WNYC - Reading Room: In Schools We Trust... Nor do we trust principals, parents, or local school boards. We don't trust the publicschool system as a whole, so we allow those furthest removed from the ...
  • WNYC - News - Reading, Writing and Reform... 9, 2003 In public schools throughout the city, there's a new curriculum intended to boost reading scores. Just about 40 percent of elementary and middle school...
NJ Schools Get High Marks in New PollSeptember 22, 2003


STAR Scores Still Below State GoalsAugust 29, 2002

N.Y. Regents Exam Censorship?June 03, 2002

City Parents to Boycott Standardized Tests May 07, 2002

President Bush Signs Education BillJanuary 08, 2002

Congress Passes Education Bill December 18, 2001

Scarsdale Kids Boycotting Standardized Tests November 9, 2001

Covering the controversy:

  • With the exception of suburban New Jersey, students continue to perform poorly on the tests.
  • Some tests are found to be inaccurate, failing a small but significant portion of students who would have otherwise passed.
  • Scarsdale bucks the system.