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Do High-Stakes Assessments Improve Learning - Essay Example

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Do High-Stakes Assessments Improve Learning? Date Do High-Stakes Assessments Improve Learning? The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) defined the term ‘high stakes testing’ as the assessment of individual performance, normally through paper-and-pencil measures, and the use of those data to make decisions about promotion, graduation, instructor effectiveness, program performance, and the approval of educational programs and institutions” (Association of Teacher Educators, n.d., p…
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Download file to see previous pages 5), of which high-stakes assessment was deemed crucial in improving student achievement and learning. However, various studies have revealed contradictory results regarding its effect on students’ academic performance. Do High-Stakes Assessments Improve Learning? One, therefore, contends that high-stakes assessment does not improve the overall achievement and learning of students. Proponents of high-stakes assessment argue that “when faced with large incentives and threatening punishments, administrators, teachers, and students, it is believed, will take schooling more seriously and work harder to obtain rewards and avoid humiliating punishments” (Nichols, Glass, & Berliner, 2005, p. 1). ...
ssessments implemented in various educational institutions throughout the United States have apparently generated contradictory results (Nichols, Glass, & Berliner, 2005; Amrein & Berliner, 2002). The study conducted by Nichols, Glass, & Berliner (2005) revealed that “there is no convincing evidence that the pressure associated with high-stakes testing leads to any important benefits for students’ achievement” (p. iii). This finding was corroborated in the study made by Amrein & Berliner (2002) which disclosed that “there is inadequate evidence to support the proposition that high-stakes tests and high school graduation exams increase student achievement. The data presented in this study suggest that after the implementation of high-stakes tests, nothing much happens” (p. 57). A closer evaluation of the reasons why high stakes assessment do not seem to apparently improve learning since high-stakes assessment were reported to be closely linked to ‘pressure’ that contributes to an apparent temporary or superficial increase in academic achievement ratings. As emphasized by Supovitz (2010), “high-stakes testing does motivate educators, but responses are often superficial. In the best cases, high-stakes testing has focused instruction toward important and developmentally appropriate literacy and numeracy skills—but at the expense of a narrower curricular experience for students and a steadier diet of test preparation activities in classrooms, particularly in low-performing schools, which are the targets of test-based accountability” (par. 10). This fact was supported by Nichols, Glass, & Berliner (2005) who indicated that “high-stakes testing pressure might produce effects only at the simplest level of the school curriculum: primary school arithmetic, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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