1st Edition

High-Stakes Testing
Coping With Collateral Damage

ISBN 9780805855227
Published February 8, 2005 by Routledge
416 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

The federal government's No Child Left Behind Act has thrust high-stakes testing - its goals, methods, and consequences - into the educational limelight. The four-fold purpose of this book is to: describe the nature of high-stakes testing; identify types of collateral damage that have attended the testing programs; analyze methods different groups of people have chosen for coping with the damage and suggest lessons to be learned from the high-stakes-testing experience.

The six groups of people whose coping strategies are inspected include: politicians and their staffs; educational administrators and their staffs; parents and the public; test makers and test administrators;  teachers and students. Importantly, the author avoids aligning himself with the test-bashing rhetoric of those who oppose high-stakes testing, especially the No Child Left Behind Act.

Key features of this outstanding new book include:

  • illustrative cases. The book offers more than 350 cases of collateral damage from high-stakes testing--and people's coping strategies--as reported in newspapers over the 2002-2004 period.
  • background perspectives. Part I examines the influence of high-stakes testing on: 1) what schools teach; 2) how student progress is evaluated; 3) how achievement standards are set; and 4) how test results are used.
  • participant responses. Part II, which is the heart of the book, devotes a separate chapter to the coping strategies of each of the major participants in the high-stakes testing movement: politicians and their staffs, educational administrators and their staffs, parents and the public, test-makers and test-givers, teachers, and students.
  • summary chapter. The last chapter (Lessons to Learn) offers suggestions for minimizing collateral damage by adopting alternative approaches not used in the creation of our current high-stakes testing programs, particularly the federal government's No Child Left Behind Act.

This book is appropriate for any of the following audiences: students taking evaluation or administration courses in schools of education, inservice administrators and teachers, policy makers, and those members of the general public who are concerned about the fate of schooling in America.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. The Nature of Collateral Damage. Part I: Tasks of the Testing Game. What Should the Schools Teach? What Should the Schools Evaluate and How? How Should Achievement Standards Be Set? How Should Test Results Be Used? Part II: The Testing Game's Players. Politicians and Their Staffs. Educational Administrators and Their Staffs. The Public and Parents. Test-Makers and Test-Givers. Teachers. Students. Lessons to Learn.

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"The book is organized in a very appealing way. High-Stakes Testing: Coping With Collateral Damage is an approachable, global analysis of the current issues and participants in the high-stakes testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act during the years 2002-2004 as revealed in the popular media....this book could serve as an introduction to the issues for undergraduate students, and members of the public."
Education Review

"I found his writing to be very informative and persuasive, perhaps because I agree with many of his points and have written about this myself. The author writes very clearly. The organization is very logical. Using newspaper articles and similar sources is an interesting and effective approach. Finally, I found many chapters very comprehensive with respect to insights, more than any other book or article I've read. Very impressive."
Tom Haladyna
Arizona State University

"Overall I find the chapters balanced, well written, and appropriate for the various audiences. I really liked the organization of chapters 6-11. The type of damage-coping, strategy-illustrative cases format is very good. The use of newspaper articles breathes life and reality into the points being made."
Lorin Anderson
University of South Carolina