“An educational decision that will have a major impact on a test taker should not be made solely or automatically on the basis of a single test score.”

— National Research Council

Use of standardized tests to judge students, teachers and schools was condemned by this National Academy of Sciences panel (Examiner, Fall 1998) as violating proper measurement practice. Most of these exams have resulted in large racial gaps in passing rates illustrating problems with practices that elevate the test score differences between racial groups into barriers to equal opportunity.  Both the PAARC tests of New York and Kentucky enlarged the achievement gap over those used previously.

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences sharply criticized the use of standardized tests as stand-alone requirements for grade promotion, tracking decisions, and high school.  If an exam has a significant disparate impact on minorities and women, then it is the obligation of the institution requiring it to show that the use of test scores is an “educational necessity,”, in this case burden of proof would lie with the DDOE..

“The tests we administer our children are less regulated than the food we feed our pets”. It said.

It made the following recommendations:

  • “deliberative forums” for public discussion of proper and actual test use.
  • creation of an independent oversight body along the lines of Consumer Reports;
  • labeling, as with content labels on food packaging.
  • federal regulation

None of which were followed in either consortium created test.

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