Is High-Stakes Testing Effective?

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The issue of high-stakes testing is a substantial topic in the world of education today. Some find it to be a useful tool in making decisions in education. By using the results from a high stakes test, schools are able to decide where each student should go next. By setting high standards and high expectations, schools are ensuring that their tests have a purpose. (National Research Council, 1999) Others disagree and find high-stakes testing to be a complete waste of time. In Massachusetts, professors are protesting the use of these tests. They’re saying that high-stakes tests are not a good way to assess the schools performance nor the teachers and students in the schools. Which is it? Good or bad? After much research it has been found that having a high-stakes testing environment in schools creates unsuccessful results in education. Valerie Strauss, an education reporter from Washington, D.C . was able to get information from the Massachusetts professors and researchers themselves who stated:
As educators and researchers from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we strongly oppose our state’s continued over reliance on high-stakes standardized testing to assess student achievement, evaluate teacher effectiveness, and determine school quality. Given that standardized tests provide only one indicator of student achievement, and that their high-stakes uses produce ever-increasing incentives to teach to the test, narrow the curriculum, or even to cheat, we call on the BESE to stop using standardized tests in high-stakes decisions affecting students, teachers, and schools. (Strauss, V. 2013)

In a perfect world, high-stakes tests would be the ideal thing. However, that is not the case. Despite what some people may think, punis...

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Strauss, V. (2013, February 22). Massachusetts professors protest high-stakes standardized tests. Retrieved from

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