On his NoChildLeft site, Jamie McKenzie takes a long, detailed look at the myths of annual testing which lie at the core of No Child Left Behind. Needless to say he doesn’t find anything good to say about them.
But Why is Annual Testing A Bad Idea?
1. There is no convincing evidence that annual testing actually improves learning.
2. Annual testing is expensive.
3. Annual testing reduces the amount of time for learning.
4. Annual testing creates pressure to teach to narrow tests.
5. Annual testing increases anxiety.
6. Annual testing leads to cheating in some places.
7. Annual testing diverts resources from capacity building to testing.
8. Annual testing ignores what we know about healthy change and systems.
It’s a long article with lots of detail and references but well worth the time and effort. Go. Read.