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History of Traditional Assessment

Page history last edited by pbworks 8 years, 3 months ago




credit: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/gcdse/history/Images/section%2005%20-%20eugenics/5d-binet.jpg



  • The origins of traditional testing are traced to intelligence testing, first introduced by Alfred Binet at the end of the nineteenth century (Gardner, 1991).


  • Lewis Terman developed a test that could be given to massive numbers of military personnel during World War One. These tests were of utmost significance because they were the first time multiple-choice tests were given out in mass (Gabbard, 2004).


                    • Terman also created the Stanford Achievement Test for students. By sorting children into categories on the basis

                    of their test results, Terman invented the early model for “tracking” students in American schools.


  • Test publishers began selling tests as early as 1916, and soon found tests to be very lucrative and became a powerful lobbying presence in Washington that backed the widespread use of the Stanford Achievement Tests (Gabbard, 2004).


  •  In 1957, Russia shocked the United States by launching Sputnik, the first earth orbiting satellite into outer space. Americans feared they were losing ground as a world competitor and concluded that American education was at the root of this problem Webmail.


  • Under Title 1 of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary School Act “the law effectively mandated states to employ standardized tests in order to receive several billions of dollars each year in federal funding” (Sacks, 2000).


  • Under President John F. Kennedy in 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was formed. NAEP developed a national testing system, making, for the first time, it possible to have state-by-state comparisons of student achievement.


  • The 1970s ushered the era of Minimum Competency Testing when, in 1976, the State of Florida passed a law requiring high school students to pass a minimum competency test to graduate.


  • The modern standards-based reform movement was born upon publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983.


  • In 1989, President Bush called for an Academic Summit that established six educational goals to be reached by the year 2000.


  • In President Clinton’s 1997 State of the Union address, he called for every state to adopt high national academic standards. By 1999, every state except Iowa had begun to set common academic standards.


  • All of the changes triggered by A Nation at Risk and kindred research reports culminated in 2002 with the authorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the unparalleled federal participation in education (Gabbard, 2004).


                    • Currently forty-nine out of the fifty states have adopted NCLB, with Nebraska the only exception (J. Mueller,

                    personal communication, November 16, 2009).


                    • Before NCLB, achievement tests were used to assess what the child knew in order to make appropriate decisions

                    about the readiness of the child to enter educational programs or to learn new concepts, to determine grade

                    placement, to track students with special problems or abilities, and to measure student progress.


                    • After NCLB, achievement tests became high-stakes measures with the power to decrease school funding or

                    even to remain open.



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