NO HISPANIC STUDENT LEFT BEHIND: The Consequences of “High Stakes” Testing
NO HISPANIC STUDENT LEFT BEHIND: The Consequences of “High Stakes” Testing. Altshuler, S.J., & Schmautz, T. Children & Schools, 2006, 28(1), 5-12. There has been much research to identify the inherent biases of standardized tests against African American students; however, researchers have presented comparatively fewer findings about such biases against Hispanic students. This article raises the awareness of the potentially adverse consequences for Hispanic students who take high-stakes tests in adherence to the requirements the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. According to the article, “Even though these assessments demonstrate significant gender, cultural, and socioeconomic biases, the results are used to categorize students according to academic aptitude and achievement” (p. 7). They do not take into account students’ individual differences. Therefore, the results make erroneous in ferences about the students and the school systems in which they are educated. According to the article, “These tests perpetuate a discriminatory bias against any student lacking proficiency in white, middle-class English” (p. 8).
Altshuler and Schmautz highlight several attempts to mitigate culture and ethnicity effects on test results. These include modifying standardized instruments to address cultural biases, connecting culturally responsive instructional strategies to testing results, developing nondiscriminatory test tools, and improving a student’s grasp of the test’s language. Attempts to make these assessments culturally sensitive continue to spark controversy. Testing instruments need to be changed. Achievement and success on high-stakes tests should be within the reach of all students. This can only be achieved when both instruction and assessment are caring, individualized, and culturally appropriate. Reviewed by Aubretta Curry, Reading Specialist, Glen Oaks Elementary School, Fairfield, Alabama.
Reviewed by Aubretta Curry, Reading Specialist, Glen Oaks Elementary School, Fairfield, Alabama.
Copyright Association for Childhood Education International 2007
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