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Tests, Testing, and Genuine School Reform

The pressing need to improve achievement in American schools is widely recognized. In Tests, Testing, and Genuine School Reform, Herbert J. Walberg draws on scientific studies of tests and their uses to inform citizens, educators, and policy makers about well-established principles of testing, current problems, and promising evidence-based solutions. He explains the central considerations in developing and evaluating good tests and tells how tests can best be used, covering such topics as using tests for student incentives, paying teachers for performance, and using tests in efforts to attain new state and national standards. To minimize mistaken policies and practices, the book also describes testing technology to enable readers to evaluate and make better use of tests. And because valid tests cannot be developed without clear, specific standards, one chapter is devoted to discussing standards and how they should determine the plans and development of tests and testing. In view of the continuing technical and political problems of tests and testing, the last chapter argues that, for accountability, to improve tests and testing, and to prevent fraud, the development, administration, scoring, and reporting test results should be conducted independent of traditional school authorities.
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About the Author

Herbert J. Walberg is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a project investigator at the Vanderbilt University National Center on School Choice. Renowned throughout the world for his expertise on education policy and practice, he has written and edited more than sixty-five books and has written some 350 articles on education and exceptional human accomplishments.


"Although common sense might suggest that students would be intimidated or anxious about taking standardized tests, there is also strong evidence suggesting that students prefer academic rigor."--Chapter Two, pg. 14 "The setting of standards and cut scores is highly political. If left completely or largely to interested parties, namely, defensive educators who wish to avoid accountability for their accomplishments, the standards and cut scores are likely to be lax."--Chapter Five, pg. 38 "Although parents, citizens, and legislators strongly support tests and testing and want to see bigger consequences for excellence and failure, educators, particularly professors in schools of education where the teachers and administrators are trained, are uninformed about tests, lack basic testing expertise, and are largely against them."--Chapter One, pg. 9

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