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Flunk'em or Get Them Classified: The Contamination of Primary Grade Accountability Data
Anne McGill-Franzen and Richard L. Allington
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1993), pp. 19-22
Published by: American Educational Research Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1177302
Page Count: 4
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Children, Special education, Ethical instruction, Educational research, Moral judgment, Child development, Child psychology, Test scores, Learning disabilities, Learning
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The authors argue not only that high-stakes primary grade testing increases the pressure on low-achieving schools to improve their test performance but that these assessment mandates also increase the chances that low-scoring children will be retained in grade or classified as handicapped. Placement practices such as handicapped classification, flunking, and "developmental" classes remove low-achieving children from the assessment stream and, in the authors' view, constitute not just pollution of assessment data, but outright contamination of the reported results. The authors regard decisions to classify or fail low-achieving children as egregiously unethical if such decisions are motivated by pressure to increase the school's publicly reported test performance, and they suggest that current high-stakes testing programs be modified to eliminate any incentives to engage in such placement practices.
Educational Researcher © 1993 American Educational Research Association