High-Stakes Testing

Large-scale, standardized tests of academic achievement have been used to measure student learning and school effectiveness in the United States since the mid-19th century, and their use continues to be widespread. Although many of these tests are intended to serve primarily as tools for monitoring the education system as a whole or for providing information to help teachers adjust their instruction, in some cases, performance on standardized tests is associated with consequences for individual students, teachers, or schools. The term high-stakes testing refers to such uses of tests and includes testing for selection or certification (e.g., college admissions tests, professional licensure tests, tests used to assign students to specific courses or course sequences), testing that is used to determine whether students graduate or are promoted ...

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