Title: Standardised tests: uncertainty analysis clarifies the controversy

Authors: Olga Kosheleva

Addresses: Department of Teacher Education, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University, El Paso, TX 79968, USA

Abstract: In the USA, in the last decade, standards have been adapted for each grade level. These standards are annually checked by state-wide tests. The results of these tests often determine the school's funding and even the school's future existence. Due to this importance, a large amount of time is spent on teaching to the tests. Most teachers believe that this testing approach is detrimental to student education. This belief seems to be empirically supported by the fact that so far, the testing approach has not led to spectacular improvements promised by its proponents. While this empirical evidence is reasonably convincing, the teacher community has not yet fully succeeded in clearly explaining their position to the general public - because the opposing argument (of the need for accountability) also seems to be reasonably convincing. In this paper, we show that the situation becomes much clearer if we take uncertainty into account - and that, hopefully, a proper use of uncertainty can help in resolving this situation.

Keywords: education testing; teaching to the test; standardised tests; uncertainty analysis; USA; United States; accountability; student testing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKESDP.2014.069301

International Journal of Knowledge Engineering and Soft Data Paradigms, 2014 Vol.4 No.4, pp.318 - 326

Available online: 08 May 2015 *

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