MIT Researchers: Higher Test Scores Do Not Translate into Higher Levels of Thinking

Quite right. Test scores are a clumsy method of student evaluation.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A new study by researchers at MIT, Harvard, and Brown cast doubt on the value of pursuing higher scores on standardized tests as an end in themselves.

Since this has been the highest goal of federal policy since 2002, when No Child Left Behind was signed into law, the study raises questions about the billions spent on testing, test preparation, evaluating teachers and schools by test scores, firing teachers and principals because of test scores, and closing schools based on test scores.

Are test scores the Golden Fleece? No.

Yet with the release of every NAEP test or every international test, the media go into a frenzy, and Arne Duncan leads a national day of high anxiety and breast beating about our nation’s imminent peril because test scores did not rise as much as they should.

The new study raises the question of how much those standardized test scores mean.

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