High Stakes Testing -- three articles by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University that raise important questions about the use of standardized tests to achieve accountability and improve school performance -- high standards and accountability are presented as valuable, but high stakes tests are rejected because of their negative consequences.

The "Volvo Effect" -- a good discussion of the appropriateness of using standardized tests to drive school reform -- raises important questions about issues of bias, race, and class in the history, design, and use of standardized tests.

Coverage of Testing and Assessment in Education Week -- a good overview statement and lots of articles and links.

Coverage of Standards in Education Week -- a good overview statement and lots of articles and links.

Diane Ravitch Interview: The Death and Life of the Great American School System -- an interview with well known conservative scholar Diane Ravitch, who was an Assistant Secretary of Education under Pres. George H.W. Bush -- about her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, in which she does an about face and criticizes No Child Left Behind and its emphasis on standardized testing, school choice, vouchers and charter schools. These are all ideas Ravitch has previously championed.

The Consortium for Equity in Standards and Testing -- lots of resources and links.

ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation -- good resources on assessment and evaluation.

Are High Stakes Tests Worth the Wager? -- an excellent article from the Harvard Education Letter.

The Effects of High Stakes Testing in an Inner City Elementary School: The Curriculum, the Teachers, and the English Language Learners -- recent research that documents the negative consequences of the SAT-9 standardized test.

K-12 Academics: Standardized Tests -- This website gives an overview of standardized tests- including history, advantages, design, and scores.

High Stakes Testing -- This paper examines the effects, and risks, of standardized testing on American school children.

Obama on Testing Pitfalls -- This news article from the Huffington Post covers President Obama's current stance on standardized testing in schools.

FairTest -- The National Center for Fair and Open Testing -- an advocacy group working to end the abuses, misuses, and flaws of standardized testing.

Secrets of the SAT -- an excellent PBS, Frontline program.

Inside the New SAT Test -- a 2003 cover article in Time Magazine that raises important questions aboutthe new SAT test.

The Authentic Standards Movement and Its Evil Twin -- a good recent article in Phi DeltaKappan.

The Standards Juggernaut -- an article from Phi Delta Kappan that raises good questions about our current emphasis on testing.

Alliance for Excellent Education -- an organization that focuses on improving high schools, noting that the current emphasis on testing has drawn resources toward the early grades and away from high schools.

Teachers Reclaiming Assessment Through Rethinking Accountability -- another good article from Phi Delta Kappan.

Writing to the Rubric: Lingering Effects of Traditional Standardized Testing on Direct Writing Assessment -- a good discussion of how best to evaluate writing tests -- offers useful alternatives to standardized approaches.

North Carolina Citizens for Democratic Schools -- a group that encourages community involvement in schools and opposes a reliance on standardized testing as a method of evaluating students.

Alfie Kohn Website -- this progressive author of numerous books offers ideas for how to improve schools without an emphasis on standardized tests.

Some Good Books and Articles

Darling-Hammond, L. 1995. Authentic Assessment in Action: Studies of Schools and Students at Work. Teachers College Press.

Johnson, D. & Johnson, B. 2002. High Stakes: Children, Testing, and Failure in American Schools. Rowman & Littlefield.

Kamii, C. 1990. Achievement Testing in the Early Grades: The Games Grown-Ups Play. National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Kohn, A. 1999. The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards." Houghton Mifflin.

Kozol, J. 2005. The Shame of the Nation:The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. Crown.

Lemann, N. 1999. The Big Test: A Secret History of the American Meritocracy. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

McNeil, L. 2000. Contradictions of School Reform: The Educational Costs of Standardized Testing. Routledge.

Meier, D. (Ed.) 2000. Will Standards Save Public Education? Beacon Press.

Nichols, S. & Berliner, D. 2007.  Collateral Damage: How High Stakes Testing Corrupts America's Schools. Harvard Education Press.

Ohanian, S. 1999. One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards. Heinemann.

Owen, D. & Kincheloe, J. 1999. None of the Above: The Truth Behind the SAT's. National Book Network.

Perlstein, L. 2007. Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade. Holt.

Ravitch, D. 2010.  The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.  Basic Books.

Sacks, P. 1999. Standardized Minds: The High Price of America's Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It. Perseus Books.

Swope, K. & Miner, B. 2000. Failing Our Kids: Why the Testing Craze Won't Fix Our Schools. Rethinking Schools Publications.


Hursh, D. 2007. Assessing 'No Child Left Behind' and the Rise of Neoliberal Education Policies. American Educational Research Journal.

Gunzenhauser, M. G. 2003. High-Stakes Testing and the Default Philosophy of Education. Theory into Practice.

Schorr, R. Y., Firestone, W. A., & Monfils, L. 2003. State Testing and Mathematics Teaching in New Jersey: The Effects of a Test Without Other Supports. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.

Roderick, M. & Nagaoka, J. 2005. Retention under Chicago's High-Stakes Testing Program: Helpful, Harmful, or Harmless? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Ryan, K.E., Ryan, A.M., Arbuthnot, K., & Samuels, M. 2007. Students' Motivation for Standardized Math Exams. Educational Researcher.

New York Times Topic Overview: No Child Left Behind -- Offers updated information about the controversial No Child Left Behind Policy with links to some articles.