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Standardized testing and school accountability

Wiliam, D; (2010) Standardized testing and school accountability. Educational Psychologist , 45 (2) pp. 107-122. 10.1080/00461521003703060. Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores the use of standardized tests to hold schools accountable. The history of testing for accountability is reviewed, and it is shown that currently between-school differences account for less than ten percent of the variance in student scores, in part because the progress of individuals is small compared to the spread of achievement within an age cohort, and, possibly, due to lack of alignment between instruction and assessment. A review of the literature on the effects of the introduction of such tests in high-stakes accountability regimes suggests that the effects can be positive, and the size of the effects is substantial. Therefore, while the validity of such tests may be problematic in terms of the intended inferences, their introduction may nevertheless be justified by their impact. The paper concludes with a number of suggestions on improving tests for high-stakes accountability.

Type: Article
Title: Standardized testing and school accountability
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00461521003703060
Additional information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Wiliam, Dylan (2010) Standardized testing and school accountability. Educational Psychologist, 45 (2). pp. 107-122. Educational Psychologist is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/00461521003703060
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1507166
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