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Opportunity to Learn

Standardized testing has become the norm in K-12 education in the United States and beyond. When these assessments are used to advance or retain students, and to gauge the effectiveness of schools or educators, the interpretation of results raises a fundamental question: Do they measure ability of students or the opportunities and resources provided to students to learn the material? This question is the basis for opportunity to learn (OTL). The definition of OTL broadly refers to the extent to which students are exposed to concepts on which they are tested and provided with the necessary conditions to learn expected content. OTL focuses on resource inputs likely to affect student outcomes. This entry provides a history of the concept, along with a description of how ...

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