BOB SCHAEFFER, [email] Schaeffer is communications director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). He said today: “SAT results released this week show that No Child Left Behind and state high-stakes testing programs have dramatically undercut college readiness. According to the College Board’s exam, many students are even less ready for college than they were six years ago. SAT average scores have declined by 20 points since 2006, when the test was revised to include a writing section. If you believe the College Board’s claim that the SAT accurately assesses readiness for higher education, the logical conclusion is that test-driven K-12 school policies have been a colossal failure.
“Proponents of NCLB and similar state-level testing programs promised that overall achievement would improve while score gaps between racial groups would narrow. Precisely the opposite has taken place. Policymakers need to embrace very different policies to reverse this trend. Yet, so-called ‘reforms’ such as Race to the Top and NCLB waivers will actually increase the focus on test-scores in the nation’s public schools. The likely result is more damage to school quality and educational equity.”