The Paradoxes of High Stakes Testing: How They Affect Students, Their Parents, Teachers, Principals, Schools, and Society


reviewed by Sharon L. Nichols June 24, 2009

coverTitle: The Paradoxes of High Stakes Testing: How They Affect Students, Their Parents, Teachers, Principals, Schools, and Society
Author(s): George Madaus, Michael Russell, and Jennifer Higgins
Publisher: Information Age Publishing, Charlotte
ISBN: 1607520273, Pages: 264, Year: 2009
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Madaus, Russell, and Higgins provide an authoritative historical and contemporary account of the role, impact, and consequences of high-stakes testing—tests that are used to make decisions about people or institutions. Although some of the evidence they present is not new (e.g., that high-stakes testing narrows the curriculum or changes how teachers teach), their contextualization of high-stakes testing from an historical viewpoint offers a fresh and much needed perspective on the evolution and impact of high-stakes testing in society. The authors’ primary argument is that the practice of high-stakes testing presents an inherent paradox. As one example of this, they argue that high-stakes testing may increase student motivation and learning or improve teaching among some, while they erode it for others. Consequently, if we are to use high-stakes testing as a lever for school reform, they ask us to consider how we might “accentuate the positive” while we simultaneously, “eliminate” these... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 24, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15685, Date Accessed: 4/16/2014 8:49:09 PM

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