Misuse of High-Stakes Test Scores for Evaluative Purposes: Neglecting the Reality of Schools and Students

  • Peter Clyde Martin Ithaca College
Keywords: High-Stakes Testing, Teacher Evaluation, School Accountability, Equity

Abstract

The article examines high-stakes test scores in Washington, DC that are used to evaluate school quality for AYP purposes. On the basis of analyses of school scores in terms of subpopulations and neighborhood income, it is found that there are, district-wide, significant correlations between test results and students’ economic status, special education status, and English language proficiency. Furthermore, there is evidence that schools with a majority of students considered to be economically disadvantaged experience more pervasive testing failure. These findings contradict the premise of NCLB that we ought to ignore differences in student factors when evaluating instructional quality. The article suggests that while test scores may provide useful information regarding a given school, they are not valid for accountability purposes.

 

Author Biography

Peter Clyde Martin, Ithaca College

Dr. Martin is on the faculty of the Education Department at Ithaca College. He holds a doctoral degree in Bilingual Special Education from The George Washington University. His research interests focus on the areas of teacher education and differentiated instruction, teacher collaboration, educational equity, vision-based and transformational schooling, and serving the needs of English language learners considered to be at risk of educational failure.

 

Published
2012-12-01
How to Cite
Martin, P. (2012). Misuse of High-Stakes Test Scores for Evaluative Purposes: Neglecting the Reality of Schools and Students. Current Issues in Education, 15(3). Retrieved from https://cie.asu.edu/ojs/index.php/cieatasu/article/view/1061
Section
Articles