The Consequence of Banning High-Stakes Testing in (Science)

American education in general, and science education specifically have been radically and negatively impacted by high-stakes testing.

High-stakes testing, as set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), is the idea that the pressure of such tests will increase student achievement.  But one of the major studies cited here finds that the pressure created by high-stakes tests has no important influence on academic performance (Nichols, Glass & Berliner, 2005).

In this study, which was published in 2005, the researchers found that:

  • States with greater proportions of minority students exert greater pressure, and thus will disproportionately affect minority students.
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Science Scores on International Assessments: The Sky is Falling

In yesterday’s post, I described Science Debate 2008, and efforts to engage the two major candidates for President to answer 14 important questions about science.  The one question that focused on science education was as follows:

A comparison of 15-year-olds in 30 wealthy nations found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 17th, while average U.S. math scores ranked 24th.  What role do you think the federal government should play in preparing K-12 students for the science and technology driven 21st Century?

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