Testing, Reform and Rebellion
AUTHOR: H. Dickson Corbett and Bruce L. Wilson
PUBLISHER: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
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This book represents one of the first extensive investigations of the effects of statewide testing policies on local school districts. It focuses on the increasingly popular tool in education of promoting reform by comparison. There is a prevailing assumption among policymakers and state education officials that they can pressure schools into action by comparing schools, school districts, and states on test performances. However, this pressure often pushes schools into taking the wrong actions. The authors have detailed the local responses to statewide, minimum-competency testing programs in two states and conclude that these responses do not in any way resemble the kind of serious examination of purpose, process, and structure involving educators and education stakeholders that one would associate with the term reform. They argue that the blame for this lack of progress lies not with educators' misuse of tests, nor necessarily with the tests themselves, but with policymaker's misuse of testing as a tool for reform. The authors' hope is that this volume will contribute to the demise of a type of educational policy that blocks reform much more than stimulates it.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1/1/1991