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High-Stakes Testing

  • By: Terrence O'C. Jones & Youngjoo Kim
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Often criticized in curriculum studies as fostering a myopic view of curriculum, high-stakes testing has become a pejorative term referring to the gambling nature inherent in test assessment methods of many standards-based learning programs. A number of these testing protocols use a single, annual, standardized test to determine a student's academic progress. Test results are often used to identify a learner's progress and to determine promotion to the next grade or retention at the current grade level. Tests administered in large urban areas take weeks to grade and disseminate back to schools. The delays force students to either attend summer school or to repeat the grade in the following year.

Standardized tests have grown to become the preferred assessment method for public school districts, and consequently, ...

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