Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Robert L. Johnson & Vasanthi Rao
Standardized tests have been an integral part of the American education system since the mid-19th century. Current examples of standardized tests include the Stanford Achievement Test, which is used to assess students in K–12; the ACT college entrance examination; and the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is used to license physicians. These tests are characterized by the uniformity of the content, administration conditions, and scoring. Though this form of assessment has been subject to changes, one aspect of educational standardized testing that has remained constant throughout the course of its history is its ability to remain at the center of controversy and debate. The role, effectiveness, and intent of standardized testing have always been questioned—whether an instrument attempts to assess student competency or potential or to measure effectiveness of instruction and administration, especially when connected to a reform effort. In the mid- to late 1800s, cities in the United ...