THE FAILURE OF NORM-REFERENCED TESTING
The practice of using of norm-referenced tests to evaluate students carries with it an assumption that all test takers of a given age are expected to distribute themselves along a bell-curve: with 50 percent above and 50 percent below average. This is the very definition of a norm-referenced test.
Norm-referenced test enable us to establish exactly what it means to be on grade level. Theoretically, the 50 % mark indicates grade level ability.
Politicians and government officials are now demanding that our schools raise our expectations and get all students up to grade level. The expectation is that all children will score at or above the 50th percentile mark – at or above grade level. But this is virtually impossible, by the very nature and definition of norm-referenced tests.
If these "expectations" are accepted by the American public, then virtually all of our school systems and students are destined to failure. MORE...
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