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BENEFITS OF HIGH STAKES TESTING Throughout the 1990s national state a local educational leaders have focused on raising educational standards and promoting accountability within the educational community In fact the promotion of challenging learning standards for all students -coupled with assessment systems that monitor progress and establish challenging expectation for students The numbers of states using tests as a condition for high school graduation is on the rise with 26 states projected to use tests as a condition for graduation by 2003 and six states now using tests as a condition for grade promotion High stakes testing programs are a product of the growing movement to improve public education by ensuring that schools more fully reflect and conform to the needs of business and industry and the criteria used to judge success and effectiveness in business and industry Toward this end the new ABCs and other high stakes testing programs emphasize the importance of holding teachers and schools accountable for students learning as measured by students performances on standardized tests The central role of accountability testing in the new ABCs is demonstrated by the fact that the letter A in the ABC acronym stands for accountability The other two core objectives of the program are to increase the emphasis placed upon the Basic subjects and to provide an increased level of Control of program implementation and pedagogy at the local level Defenders of high stakes tests - a group that included some politicians business leaders and some educational reformers say the tests require students to demonstrate a mastery a of material needed for an increasingly demanding workplace Others industrialized nation England Germany Japan Singapore have a long tradition of tough testing and many lawmakers argue the United State needs a comparable approach to maintain a well-prepared and globally competitive work force ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WHOM High stakes testing tells the public that
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