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The Anatomy of Achievement GapsWhy and How American Education is Losing (but can still Win) the War on Underachievement$
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Jaekyung Lee

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190217648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190217648.001.0001

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High-Stakes Testing

High-Stakes Testing

Performance-Driven Accountability Policies and Achievement Outcomes

(p.197) 6 High-Stakes Testing
The Anatomy of Achievement Gaps

Jaekyung Lee

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of high-stakes testing policy and accountability. How effective are performance-driven educational policies under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act? What interventions are most cost-effective for disadvantaged minority students? The average effect size of high-stakes testing interventions is modest, and there is no consistent evidence on narrowing achievement gaps among racial and social groups. The discrepancy of student progress between National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and state assessment measures is noted. School choice policies, including vouchers and charter schools, have had limited effects on system-wide education improvement, and performance-driven policy could become more effective when properly combined with input-driven policy. The Common Core Standards can induce desirable changes in American schools through narrower, higher, and deeper curricular coverage in core subjects, but with negative results if states continue to operate under NCLB and without adequate funding and technical support for chronically low-performing schools.

Keywords:   accountability, achievement gap, high-stakes testing, school accountability, school choice, performance incentives, value-added, NCLB, Common Core Standards

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