High-stakes testing has unintended negative consequences that can undermine the purpose of assessment, says a study by the Education Policy Research Institute at Arizona State University in Tempe.
The study says the stress of receiving rewards and punishments based on test scores can result in curricula and instructional strategies that are too narrow. Other negative effects of high-stakes testing can include the reallocation of services disproportionately away from high- and low-achieving students and toward those students whose scores are closest to the cutoff between passing and failing; a negative impact on students as a result of testing errors that improperly categorize them; and efforts to bypass high-stakes tests, undermining their efficacy, according to the report.
Vol. 26, Issue 14, Page 12Published in Print: December 6, 2006, as High-Stakes Testing