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NCLB Outrages

School Leaders Have a Duty to Undo the Harm Being Perpetrated on Schools Today

America's educators are being obliged to participate in a contest they cannot win. The contest is called "the score-boosting game" and its object is to have educators raise students' scores on standardized achievement tests.

The score-boosting game rests on the assumption that a set of high scores by students equals more successful instruction by educators. That assumption, however, is misguided because it clearly misapplies the information that can be gleaned from standardized tests.

Unfortunately, many educators' current efforts to succeed in this accountability-induced contest are causing serious educational harm to students. Today's evaluation of schoolwide performance, based on students' standardized test scores, must be ended. Fortunately, there are ways this brand of educational mismeasurement can be reduced.

— W. James Popham
The Mismeasurement of Education Quality
The School Administrator
December 2000


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