Last updated on: 4/15/2020 | Author:

Footnotes & Sources

The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following footnotes (directly referenced) and sources (used for general research and not directly referenced):

  1. Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, 2010
  2. Philip Elliott & Jennifer Agiesta, “AP-NORC Poll: Parents Back High-Stakes Testing,” Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research website, Aug. 17, 2013
  3. Jason L. Riley, “Was the $5 Billion Worth It?,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2011
  4. FairTest, “What’s Wrong with Standardized Tests?,”, Dec. 17, 2007
  5. Sean W. Mulvenon, Joanie V. Connors, and Denise Lenares, “Impact of Accountability and School Testing on Students: Is There Evidence of Anxiety?,”, Nov. 2011
  6. Ruth Mitchell, “High-stakes Testing and Effects on Instruction: Research Review,”, Mar. 30, 2006
  7. Gregory J. Cizek, “Unintended Consequences of High Stakes Testing – P-12,” Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Sep. 2001
  8. Susan Ohanian, “Collateral Vomitage,”, Mar. 14, 2002
  9. Valerie Strauss, “The Girl Who Ran Away to Avoid a Standardized Test,”, Mar. 25, 2011
  10. P.J. DeCordova-Boyd, LeAnne Gendreau, Jeff Saperstone, and Amanda Raus, “Isabella Was Stressed About Tests,”, Mar. 24, 2011
  11. Bruce Jacobs, “No Child Left Behind’s Emphasis on ‘Teaching to the Test’ Undermines Quality Teaching,” Endeavors, Dec. 2007
  12. Linda Valli, and Robert Croninger, “High Quality Teaching of Foundational Skills in Mathematics and Reading,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  13. Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, 2005
  14. Meredith Kolodner, “Students, Teachers Sweating High-stakes Tests as Parents Rebel Against Constant Prep,” Daily News, May 3, 2011
  15. Diana Jean Schemo, “Vigilance and Memory: The Schools; For Some Students, Attacks Lose Their Grip,” New York Times, Sep. 12, 2002
  16. “Survey Finds Teaching to the Test Has Negative Impact on Use of News in Classrooms: Carnegie-Knight Task Force Urges More Emphasis on Civics Education,”, Jan. 12, 2007
  17. Katie Zezima, “The Case for Cursive,” New York Times, Apr. 27, 2011
  18. Patte Barth and Ruth Mitchell, “Standardized Tests and Their Impact on Schooling: Q&A,”, Feb. 16, 2006
  19. US Department of Education, “Testing: Frequently Asked Questions,”, Nov.17, 2004
  20. Gesell Institute, “Gesell LEAD Press Conference: Study Results,”, Oct. 14, 2010
  21. Edward Miller, and Joan Almon, “Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School,”, Mar. 2009
  22. Education Insights, “Reality Check 2006 – Issue No. 3: Is Support for Standards and Testing Fading?,”, 2006
  23. Donald R. McAdams, “Enemy of the Good,” Education Next, Summer 2002
  24. ETS, “Frequently Asked Questions About ETS,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  25. Sara Bernard, “Test Scores Low? Blame Your Teacher,”, Jan. 21, 2010
  26. Greg Toppo, “When Test Scores Seem Too Good to Believe,” USA TODAY, Mar. 17, 2011
  27. Andrew Rice, “Miss Grundy Was Fired Today,” New York Magazine, Mar. 20, 2011
  28. Marc Fisher, “In Search of the Real Michelle Rhee,” Washington Post, Sep. 27, 2009
  29. W. James Popham, “Standardized Testing Fails the Exam,”, Mar. 23, 2005
  30. Sean P. Corcoran, “Can Teachers be Evaluated by Their Students’ Test Scores? Should They Be? The Use of Value-Added Measures of Teacher Effectiveness in Policy and Practice,”, 2010
  31. Tom Marshall, “Research Papers Fly a Value-added Debate Heats Up,”, Nov. 24, 2010
  32. Rick Hess, “LAT on Teacher Value-Added: A Disheartening Replay,”, Aug. 17, 2010
  33. Marjorie Ingall, “Testing the Limits,” Tablet, May 10, 2011
  34. Louis V. Gerstner Jr., “The Tests We Know We Need,” New York Times, Mar. 14, 2002
  35. Matthew DeFOUR, “Madison School Officials Want New Standardized Tests,”, May 10, 2011
  36. Alfie Kohn, “Remember When We Had Higher Standards? Neither Do I,”, Dec. 10, 2010
  37. Josh Miller, “Lawmakers Target Mandatory Testing in Education Law,”, Mar. 21, 2007
  38. Ruth Mitchell, “High-stakes Testing and Effects on Instruction: At a Glance,”, Mar. 30, 2006
  39. Ruth Mitchell, “A Guide to Standardized Testing: The Nature of Assessment,”, Feb. 15, 2006
  40. Monty Neill, “High Stakes Tests Do Not Improve Student Learning,”, Jan. 1998
  41. Audrey L. Amrein and David C. Berliner, “High-Stakes Testing and Student Learning,” Education Policy Analysis, Jan. 2002
  42. Pauline Vu, “Do State Tests Make the Grade?,”, Jan 17, 2008
  43. Janet M. Hostetler, “Testing Human Rights: The Impact of High-Stakes Tests on English Language Learners’ Right to Education in New York City,” N.Y.U. Review of Law and Social Change, 2005
  44. FairTest, “NAEP Results Produce More Evidence of NCLB’s Failure,”, July 2009
  45. Valerie Strauss, “The Value of Standardized Tests,” Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2009
  46. David Hursh, “Oh, So Predictable: NY State Regents to Make Exams Harder to Pass,”, July 20, 2010
  47. Nicholas Lemann, The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy, 2000
  48. Barry Topol, John Olson, and Ed Roeber, “The Cost of New Higher Quality Assessments: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Potential Costs for Future State Assessments,”, 2010
  49. Sharon L. Nichols and David C. Berliner, Collateral Damage: How High-Stakes Testing Corrupts America’s Schools, 2007
  50. Joy Resmovits, “NYC Teachers Counter ‘Waiting for Superman’ With Film of Their Own,” , May 24, 2011
  51. Howard Blume, “High Schools Offer Grade Boosts to Students Who Improve Test Scores,” Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2011
  52. Sharon Otterman, “Test for Pupils, But the Grades Go to Teachers,” New York Times, May 23, 2011
  53. Walter M. Haney, “Evidence on Education under NCLB (and How Florida Boosted NAEP Scores and Reduced the Race Gap),”, Sept. 2006
  54. Alain Jehlen, “Florida’s Testing Success: An Inflated Reputation?,”, Apr. 18, 2011
  55. Richard Phelps, PhD, “Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Educational Testing Programs,”, Feb. 2002
  56. Amanda Morin, “What Is High Stakes Testing?,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  57. Mary Lyn Bourque, “Leave No Standardized Test Behind,” Defending Standardized Testing, Ed. Richard P. Phelps, 2005
  58. FairTest, “Florida Teachers Refuse Bonuses for High Test Scores,”, Jan. 2000
  59. FairTest, “Criterion- and Standards- Referenced Tests,”, Aug. 17, 2007
  60. “Standardized Testing State by State,”, (accessed June 20, 2011)
  61. NPR Staff, “Ravitch: Standardized Testing Undermines Teaching,”, Apr. 28, 2011
  62. Michael Moore, “Cornering the Education Market,” Savannah Morning News, May 4, 2011
  63. Valerie Strauss, “Teachers of Year Fight Test-based Assessment,”, May 27, 2011
  64. Audrey Dilling, “Studying Up,”, May 27, 2011
  65. “Pearson,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  66. Todd Farley, “Standardized Testing: A Decade in Review,”, Apr. 8, 2011
  67. Justin Crozier, “A Unique Experiment,” China in Focus, 2002
  68. Jay Mathews, “Just Whose Idea Was All This Testing?” Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2006
  69. Richard P. Phelps, Standardized Testing Primer, Oct. 2007
  70. Barry J. Zimmerman and Dale H. Schunk, Educational Psychology: A Century of Contributions, 2002
  71. “IBM 805 Test Scoring Machine,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  72. Lawrence M. Fisher, “Reynold Johnson, 92, Pioneer in Computer Hard Disk Drives,” New York Times, Sep. 18, 1998
  73. “Question 1529: Why Do Scantron-type Tests Only Read #2 Pencils? Can Other Pencils Work?,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  74. “Automated Test Scoring,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  75. “Scantron Scanners,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  76. “ESEA Backgrounder 1: Accountability Systems,”, Mar. 3, 2010
  77. Peter Sacks, Standardized Minds: The High Price of America’s Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It, 2001
  78. National Commission on Excellence in Education, “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform,”, Apr. 1983
  79. Kevin Kosar, “Higher Standards: We’d Love to But…,”, Aug. 2003
  80. “Remarks by the President at Signing Ceremony for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,”, June 4, 1997
  81. Diane Ravitch, “Obama’s War on Schools,”, Mar. 20, 2011
  82. Patte Barth, “A Guide to the No Child Left Behind Act,”, Mar. 23, 2006
  83. Frederick M. Hess, “Fixing No Child Left Behind: Two Views,” USA TODAY, June 6, 2007
  84. Gerald Bracey, “One Reason (Among Many) That No Child Left Behind Cannot Work,”, Jan. 2, 2007
  85. “No Child Left Behind Act,”, June 13, 2011
  86. Stephanie Reitz, “Court Won’t Hear ‘No Child’ Challenge,”, Feb. 23, 2011
  87. Mark Walsh, “High Court Refuses to Hear Conn. Challenge to NCLB Law,”, Mar. 2, 2011
  88. Sam Dillon, “Obama Calls for Major Change in Education Law,” New York Times, Mar. 13, 2010
  89. United States Department of Education, “A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act” (2.2 MB) pdf logo,, Mar. 2010
  90. Erica Werner, “Obama Discusses Pitfalls of Standardized Tests at Town Hall,”, Mar. 28, 2011
  91. James Baer, “Standardized Testing Can Be Real Challenge for Students,”, Feb. 16, 2011
  92. Donna L. Clovis, “Take Out Your No. 2 Pencils: Taking the Stress Out of Standardized Tests,” (accessed June 20, 2011)
  93. “Secretary Arne Duncan’s Remarks at OECD’s Release of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 Results,”, Dec. 7, 2010
  94. Marcy Martinez, “TAKS Test Taking a Bite Out of Budget?”, Apr. 28, 2011
  95. “Shanghai Tops International Test Scores,”, Dec. 7, 2010
  96. Trip Gabriel, “Under Pressure, Teachers Tamper with Tests,” New York Times, June 10, 2010
  97. Dan DiMaggio, “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Test Scorer,” Monthly Review, Dec. 2010
  98. “Pearson 2010 Results,”, Feb. 28, 2011
  99. FairTest, “Errors Grow with Mounting Test Pressures,”, May 2006
  100. Valerie Strauss, “New Test Scoring Problems for Pearson,” Washington Post, July 19, 2010
  101. National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy, “Ten Moral Concerns in the Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act,” (accessed June 21, 2011)
  102. Katherine McKnight, PhD, “Opting Out of NCLB Testing,”, Mar. 25, 2011
  103. Michelle Rhee, MPP, “Accommodate Don’t Discriminate,”, May 24, 2011
  104. “Meet the Press Transcript for Sept. 26, 2010,”, Sep. 26, 2010
  105. Richard P. Phelps, “Characteristics of an Effective Student Testing System,” (accessed June 21, 2011)
  106. Valerie Strauss, “Unanswered Questions About Standardized Tests,” Washington Post, Apr. 26, 2011
  107. Lynn Olson, “Study Questions Reliability of Single-Year Test-Score Gains,” Education Week, May 23, 2001
  108. Public Agenda, “Where’s the Backlash? Students Say They Don’t Fret Standardized Tests,”, Mar. 5, 2002
  109. “What Accounts for Finland’s High Student Achievement Rate?,”, Apr. 27, 2010
  110. “Pisa Literacy Survey: Finland Loses Top Spot to Asians,”, Dec. 7, 2010
  111. Sholastic and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on America’s Schools,”, Mar. 2010
  112. Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, “The Creativity Crisis,” Newsweek, July 10, 2010
  113. C.J. Westerberg, “The Chinese Curse. Is America Next?”, Nov. 18, 2010
  114. Scott Jaschik, “Can You Trust Automated Grading?,”, Feb. 21, 2011
  115. “Faculty Books: From Career Magnet Schools to Standardized Tests,”, June 1, 2000
  116. Stuart S. Yeh, “Limiting the Unintended Consequences of High-Stakes Testing,” Education Policy Analysis Archives, Oct. 28, 2005
  117. Valerie Strauss, “Ravitch: ‘Are We in an Era of National Stupidity?,’” Washington Post, June 16, 2010
  118. Danny Rosenthal, “Don’t Make Education Policy Based on Cheaters,”, Apr. 4, 2011
  119. Sherri Doughty and Jason Palmer, “Characteristics of Tests Will Influence Expenses; Information Sharing May Help States Realize Efficienciespdf logo,, May 2003
  120. Kristina Rizga, “What Standardized Tests Miss,” Mother Jones, May 19, 2011
  121. Jack Gillum and Marisol Bello, “When Standardized Test Scores Soared in D.C., Were the Gains Real?,” USA TODAY, Mar. 30, 2011
  122. Bill Turque, “Teacher Pay Plan Detailed,”, Sep. 10, 2010
  123. Bill Turque, “In Second Year, Rhee Is Facing Major Tests,” Washington Post, Aug. 21, 2008
  124. Marisol Bello and Jack Gillum, “D.C. Officials to Review High Rates of Erasures on School Tests,” USA TODAY, Mar. 30, 2011
  125. “Duncan Says 82 Percent of America’s Schools Could ‘Fail’ Under NCLB This Year,”, Mar. 9, 2011
  126. “Most Elementary Schools in California Will Fail to Meet Proficiency Requirements by 2014, Study Shows,”, Sep. 28, 2008
  127. “Value-Added Assessment,” (accessed June 21, 2011)
  128. Roger Tilles, “NY Regent: Why We Shouldn’t Link Teacher Evaluation to Test Scores’” Washington Post, May 17, 2011
  129. James Peyser and Robert Costrell, “Exploring the Costs of Accountability,” Education Next, Apr. 2004
  130. Daniel M. Koretz, “Limitations in the Use of Achievement Tests as Measures of Educators’ Productivity,” Journal of Human Resources, Fall 2002
  131. Center for Teaching Excellence, “Improving Your Test Questions,” (accessed June 21, 2011)
  132. Russell Contreras, “Some 11th-Graders Turned Test into a Game,”, Aug. 2, 2004
  133. Erin Zagursky, “Smart? Yes. Creative? Not So Much,”, Feb. 3, 2011
  134. Herbert J. Walberg, “Stop the War Against Standardized Tests,” Defining Ideas, May 2011
  135. Caroline M. Hoxby, “The Cost of Accountability,”, Apr. 2002
  136. US Department of Education, “Taking Responsibility for Ending Social Promotionpdf logo,, May 1999
  137. Jay P. Greene, PhD, and Marcus A. Winters, “An Evaluation of Florida’s Program to End Social Promotion,”, Dec. 2004
  138. Richard P. Phelps, “The Effect of Testing on Achievement: Meta-Analyses and Research Summary, 1910–2010,” Nonpartisan Education Review, Apr. 2011
  139. Jiang Xueqin, “The Test Chinese Schools Still Fail,” Wall Street Journal, Dec. 8, 2010
  140. Yong Zhao, “John Richard Schrock: Why Doesn’t China Get Off the Teach-to-the-Test System?,”, Dec. 29, 2010
  141. Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, “The Unintended, Pernicious Consequences of ‘Staying the Course’ on the United States’ No Child Left Behind Policy,” International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, June 2009
  142. “A Weekend Interview with Diane Ravitch on Teachers, Testing and Florida’s Progress,”, June 11, 2011
  143. Public Law 107–110, 107th Congress” (1.8 MB) pdf logo,, Jan. 8, 2002
  144. Andrew J. Coulson, “Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 7th Edition: 20. K-12 Education,”, 2009
  145. Tim Walker, “PISA 2009: U.S. Students in the Middle of the Pack,”, Dec. 7, 2010
  146. Mona Mourshed, Chinezi Chijioke, and Michael Barber, “How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better,”, Nov. 2010
  147. Valerie Strauss, “The Myths of Standardized Testing,” Washington Post, Apr. 15, 2011
  148. Linda Darling-Hammond & Laura McCloskey, “Assessment for Learning Around the World: What Would It Mean to Be ‘Internationally Competitive?,” (accessed June 21, 2011)
  149. Michelle Rhee, MPP, “The Evidence Is Clear: Test Scores Must Accurately Reflect Students’ Learning,”, Apr. 6, 2011
  150. Sam Dillon, “Top Test Scores from Shanghai Stun Educators,”, Dec. 7, 2010
  151. Dean Goodman and Ronald K. Hambleton, “Some Misconceptions About Large-Scale ducational Assessments,” Defending Standardized Testing, Ed. Richard P. Phelps, 2005
  152. Gregory J. Cizek, “High-Stakes Testing: Contexts, Characteristics, Critiques and Consequences,” Defending Standardized Testing, Ed. Richard P. Phelps, 2005
  153. Dan Fletcher, “Brief History: Standardized Testing, ”, Dec. 11, 2009
  154. Committee on Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Public Education at the National Research Council, Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education,”, 2011
  155. Greg Toppo, “Memo Warns of Rampant Cheating in D.C. Public Schools,”, Apr. 11, 2013
  156. Emma Brown, “Michelle Rhee Responds to Federal Investigation of Alleged DCPS Cheating,”, Jan. 8, 2013
  157. Emma Brown, “Teachers in 18 D.C. Classrooms Cheated on Tests Last Year, Probe Finds,”, Apr. 12, 2013
  158. Steve Osunsami and Ben Forer, “Atlanta Cheating: 178 Teachers and Administrators Changed Answers to Increase Test Scores,”, July 6, 2011
  159. Alan Blinder, “Atlanta Educators Convicted in School Cheating Scandal,”, Apr. 1, 2015
  160. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) “Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA): Results from PISA 2012,” (accessed May 24, 2016)
  161. National Center for Education Statistics, “Highlights from the 2000 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA),”, 2002
  162. National Center for Education Statistics, “Mathematics Literacy: Average Scores,” (accessed Oct. 23, 2018)
  163. National Center for Education Statistics, “Science Literacy: Average Scores,” (accessed Oct. 23, 2018)
  164. National Center for Education Statistics, “Reading Literacy: Average Scores,” (accessed Oct. 23, 2018)
  165. Associated Press, “Michelle Obama: Don’t Let Tests Define You,”, Nov. 16, 2009
  166. Andrew Ujifusa, “Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion a Year, Study Says,”, Nov. 29, 2012
  167. Erina Richards, “Despite Common Core and More Testing, Reading an Math Scores Haven’t Budged in a Decade,”, Oct. 30, 2019
  168. US Department of Education, “Helping Students Adversely Affected by School Closures, Secretary DeVos Announces Broad Flexibilities for States to Cancel Testing during National Emergency,”, Mar. 20, 2020


Shelley Mika, “Testing Testing: Do Schools Do Too Much?,”, Nov. 1, 2005

Stephen G. Sireci, “The Most Frequently Unasked Questions About Testing,” Defending Standardized Testing, Ed. Richard P. Phelps, 2005

Valerie Strauss, “The Letter from Assessment Experts the N.Y. Regents Ignored,” Washington Post, May 22, 2011

Chris VerWys, “Achievement Tests,” (accessed June 17, 2011)

Lihshing Wang, Gulbahar H. Beckett, and Lionel Brown, “Controversies of Standardized Assessment in School Accountability Reform: A Critical Synthesis of Multidisciplinary Research Evidence,” Applied Measurement in Education, 2006