chapter  8
24 Pages

THE CONSTRUCTION OF STANDARDIZED TESTS AND THEIR USES

WTH YET ANOTHER STANDARDIZED TEST CURRENTLY under development-the national voluntary test-Sacks ( 1997), an opponent of standardized testing, gained further support for his claim that "we are a nation of standardized-testing junkies" (p. 25). He expressed legitimate and passionate concerns in his writing concerning the use and misuse of standardized tests. Perhaps it is simple common sense that standardized tests do not provide and cannot be expected to provide all the information necessary to evaluate student development. However, in the haste to make comparisons among students, schools, districts, and even states, the purpose, and thus the limits of standardized testing, are often obscured by unrealistic expectations of the kind of information that can be obtainedfrom standardized tests. It may be that the capacity of a standardized test to provide normative comparisons has overshadowed its primary purpose of improving student learning.