Series on Testing Will Be Aired In Fall by PBS

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The pros and cons of minimum-competency testing will be debated in a four-part weekly television series to be aired over PBS stations beginning Sept. 17.

The series--entitled "Who's Keeping Score?"--was taped during a special hearing on minimum-competency testing sponsored by the National Institute of Education and held July 8-10 in Washington. The hearing, conducted in a trial-like setting, was chaired by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, now a professor at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public School Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin.

"Who's Keeping Score?" offers excerpts of the discussion on three major issues of minimum-competency testing, presented by two research teams who built cases and defended positions on opposite sides of each issue.

The three major questions are: Does minimum-competency testing have a beneficial or harmful effect on students? Does it influence curriculum and teaching? Does it have positive or negative effects on the public's perception of educational quality?

Fifty-seven witnesses "testified" during the three-day hearings, including Ralph Nader, Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, and columnist William Raspberry.

In addition to the PBS series, NIE will be making available three one-hour video cassette tapes, a user's guide, hearing transcripts, and full hearing tapes.

Vol. 01, Issue 01, Page 4

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