The author of the Speaking Out article in the January/February issue of Principal feels conflicted about high-stakes testing because although NCLB requires it and principals are expected to use the resulting data to inform their decision-making, the process adds undue stress to students and the data from a single achievement test are not representative of a student’s abilities. “While we know these assessments are increasing anxiety and stress,” the author writes, “states continue to promote the test as unavoidable, and administrators capitulate by pressing teachers to prepare their students and by encouraging test performance as early as elementary school.”
What’s your take on the issue? How have high-stakes tests affected your students’ stress levels? Have the tests accurately represented their learning?