Definition And Understanding Of High Stakes Tests Essay

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Introduction There are numerous definitions of what a high stakes test is. This is probably due to the fact that its application encompasses educators (teachers and learning institutions), schools, and students. Therefore, in this regard, it is understandable that its authoritative definition differs from one quarter to another. However, according to Wolinsky (2014), a common definition and understanding of high stakes tests refer to testing that has serious implications for the person taking the test. The Glossary of Education Reform (2014) offers another elucidation of what a high stakes test is, stating that it is any test used to arrive at important decisions concerning students, educators, and/or learning institutions. This is further affirmed by Johnson & Johnson (2009; Fair Test, 2014), who state that the decisions emanating from high stakes tests are often life-altering, and may include the denial of a diploma, the repetition of a school grade, and denial of funding or even school closure.
In general, according to Fund Education Now (2014), high stakes testing emphasizes consequences based on the outcome, thus the term “high stakes”, where the stakes denote the risk involved in funding the education process. The core purpose of high stakes, according to Supovitz (2009), is to increase accountability; effectively to hold students and educators responsible for performance. The 1980s characterize the origins of high stakes testing. However, according to ProCon (2014),
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