Kill the Messenger: The War on Standardized Testing

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2005-05-30
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Kill the Messenger is perhaps the most thorough and authoritative work in defense of educational testing ever written. Phelps points out that much research conducted by education insiders on the topic is based on ideological preference or profound self-interest. It is not surprising that they arrive at emphatically anti-testing conclusions. Much, if not most, of this hostile research is passed on to the public by journalists as if it were neutral, objective, and independent. This volume explains and refutes many of the common criticisms of testing; describes testing opponents’ strategies, through case studies of Texas and the SAT; illustrates the profound media bias against testing; acknowledges testing’s limitations, and suggests how it can be improved; and finally, outlines the consequences of losing the war on standardized testing.

Table of Contents

List of Tables viii
List of Figures xi
Foreword xiii
Preface v
Acknowledgments xix
Reveille-Prelude to Battle (Introduction) 1(8)
1. The Battlefield (Testing Systems and Testing Interests) 9(26)
2. Attack Strategies and Tactics 35(52)
3. Campaigns: The Big, Bad SAT 87(18)
4. Campaigns: Texas, the Early Years 105(16)
5. Campaigns: Texas, the Presidential Election Year 2000 121(26)
6. War Correspondence (Media Coverage of Testing) 147(68)
7. The Fruits of Victory (Benefits of Testing) 215(50)
8. The Spoils of War (Valid Concerns about Testing) 265(12)
9. The Agony of Defeat (The Consequences of Losing the War: The Alternatives to Standardized Testing) 277(10)
Appendix An Anti-Testing Vocabulary 287(10)
Glossary 297(4)
References 301(20)
Index 321

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