A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF "SCHOOL-BASED STANDARD TESTING" BY CRAIG BOLLON
The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze an article by Crag Bollon (2000) on standard testing. The article is first summarized in terms of its main ideas and themes. This is followed by an examination of the advantages and disadvantages discussed by Bollon regarding standard testing. The review ends with a brief conclusions section.
Stating that school-based standardized testing in contemporary America is now being extensively used for policy and educational decision making, Bollon (2000) examines various issues historically associated with standardized testing for school children. Psychometrically problematic elements associated with the use of standard tests measuring aptitude, achievement, and ability are then discussed. In addition, the article presents a review of the advantages and disadvantages of alternative assessment techniques.
The main ideas in the article are that school based standardized testing has been historically misused and that many problems stop standard tests from achieving the objective, uniform standard of measurement they wish to obtain. It is also noted that while alternatives to standard tests hold some real promise, they also are not without problems.
Several remedies are suggested to overcome the difficulties that so often accompany the use of standard tests for assessing students' aptitudes, achievement levels and abilities. These remedies are to stop using standard tests to: (1) make critical "high risk" decisions such as denying students' graduation; and (2) providing rewards or punishments on the basis of students' standardized test grades. Bollon (2000) also notes that alternative methods of testing should be used and that instead of focusing on testing in general, schools should ensure that ESL education is strong and provided to students early on and that there be a strong emphasis upon raising stu...