Home > Archives > Volume 13 - Issue 3, Spring 1999
Volume 13 Number 3

Why the Testing Craze Won't Fix Our Schools
A Rethinking Schools
Editorial More and more schools are relying on standardized testing and "high-stakes" tests. But these tests are poor tools for achieving the high standards that testing advocates claim as their goal. A look at why testing alone isn't enough to improve education.

Alternatives to Standardized Tests
By Bob Peterson and Monty Neill
Why it's wrong to reduce assessment and accountability to a student's performance on a single test, and what schools can and should do instead.

Tests from Hell
By Bill Bigelow
Oregon's latest high-stakes social studies test is mired in the assumption that learning is nothing more than fact-collecting. (This article originally appeared in The Oregonian, Portland's daily newspaper.)

Testing Against Democracy
By Bill Bigelow
How Bill Bigelow's article "Tests from Hell" touched off criticism and threats from Oregon education officials, and a wave of grassroots support.

Appropriate Use of Tests Basic principles of good testing, according to the National Research Council.

Hallmarks of Good Assessment Guiding ideas behind sound alternatives to high-stakes, standardized tests.

Standards and the Control of Knowledge
By Harold Berlak
How state-mandated education standards affect efforts to develop multicultural curriculum, and how parents and educators can make sense of the increasing reliance on standards.

The Forgotten History of Eugenics
By Alan Stoskopf
High-stakes testing has its roots in this dark chapter of our history, and the racist assumptions at its core.

Chicago Flunking Policy Gets an "F"
By Judy Woestehoff
"No Social Promotion" has become the rallying cry of Chicago school reform, earning praise from presidents and pundits nationwide. But what's really happening?

Chicago Teacher Paper Under Fire
By Barbara Miner
The newspaper "Substance" faces a $1 million lawsuit for publishing test materials.

Limitations of the ITBSSome of the commonly cited flaws with two popular student assessments, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency

Welcome to Measurement Inc.
By David Glovin
You thought teachers were evaluating student writing? Think again. A visit to the renovated North Carolina factory where part-time workers grade student essays shipped in from more than two dozen states.

Reclaiming Assessment
By Linda Christensen
Instead of shipping off essays to be graded elsewhere, teachers in Portland are scoring student work, and using the task as a basis for discussions about good writing and good teaching.

Dancin' Circles
By Daniel Ferri
Take heart: Even the most rigid state testing plans can never hope to control what every child does, or thinks, or writes.

The Straitjacket of Standardized Tests
By Tom McKenna
A teacher wonders: Where is the standardized test that measures passion for learning, respect for others, and human empathy?

Monkeys, Pouches, and Reading
By Kate Lyman
What happens to children, and how teaching is distorted, when reading success is determined on the basis of a single test.

"High-Stakes" Harm
By Linda Christensen
How can teachers be critical of "high stakes" tests, yet prepare their students to take them?

How Many Must Die?
By George Capaccio
Since U.S. Sanctions against Iraq began, a million people -- three quarters of them under 6 years old -- have died for want of food and medicine. A look at one of the most underreported stories of our time.

Promiment Voices on IraqHow some noteworthy observers feel about US policy toward Iraq.

More Information on IraqWhere to turn for more information on Iraq. Includes several excellent Web sites.

The Influential E. D. Hirsch
By Walter Feinberg
A look at the assumptions behind Hirsch's prescription for reform, and some thoughts on whether his proposals will get us where we need to go.

Drive-By School Reform
By Stan Karp
How hit-and-run approaches to reform can turn schools into passive targets of intervention, rather than active partners in change.

Reading "By Any Means Necessary"
By Larry Miller
How a reading contest instilled reading appreciation in students and introduced them to multicultural literature.

America Divided Still
By Beverly Cross
A look at the nice-sounding myths, and harsh realities, surrounding education and democracy.