Readings on Standards and Assessment

NYC HOLD: Honest Open Logical Decisions on Mathematics Education Reform

This page contains links to articles and news and opinion pieces that will be of interest to readers of the NYC HOLD web pages. The collection is edited and annotated by Bas Braams and NYC HOLD.


How the NCEE Redefines K-12 Math, by Bill Quirk (2002). An analysis of the NCEE New Standards, also known as America's Choice Performance Standards (ACPS). Includes the NYC modifications. "[N]o mathematician would judge the NCEE math performance standards to be an acceptable guide to the math knowledge that should be acquired in K-12"... [more].

Testimony on the Draft 2004 Mathematics Framework (for NAEP), by John Hoven on behalf of the Center for Education Reform (Sep 24, 2001). Hoven finds that the "hard" 8th grade NAEP problems are at a level similar to Singapore's grade 5... [more] (PDF format). Tom Loveless and Alan Siegel also testified... [more]... [more]

Searching for Truth About the TIMSS 4th Grade Math Test, by Bill Quirk (2001?). "Although the United States ranked below the `international mean' for the TIMSS 8th grade math test and near the bottom for the TIMSS 12th grade math test, our 4th graders appeared to save the day with an `above average' performance. But a careful reading of TIMSS documentation casts serious doubt on the validity of this apparently positive result"... [more]

A comparison of NAEP, TIMSS-R, and PISA, by David Nohara (NCES WP, June 2001). A comparative description in terms of content, response type, context, and requirement for multi-step reasoning of the science and mathematics portions of the three tests... [more] (Lacking, unfortunately, a much needed comparison with curricular standards -BJB)

A New Mission for NCTM - Save Our Schools, by Frank B. Allen (2000). The author, past President of the NCTM, offers ten statements that this organization should endorse in order to deserve again to be called the National Council of TEACHERS of Mathematics... [more]. By the same author: Mathematics "Council" Loses Hard-Earned Credibility, (1998?)... [more]

Why Testing Experts Hate Testing, by Richard P. Phelps (Fordham Report, Jan 1999). "In addition to the alleged harms of 1) test score inflation, 2) curriculum narrowing, 3) emphasis on lower-order thinking, and 4) declining achievement, testing experts add a quartet of other arguments: 5) standardized tests hurt minorities and women, 6) the tests are too costly, 7) other countries don't test nearly as much as the U.S. does, and 8) parents, teachers and students in this country are all opposed to testing. These eight claims are examined in detail and a rebuttal is offered to each. The arguments are found to be irrelevant, misplaced, overly simplistic or untrue"... [more]. By the same author: Test Bashing. A 14-part series... [more]

Filling In the Blanks: Putting Standardized Tests to the Test, by Gregory J. Cizek (Fordham Report, Oct 1998). A primer on standardized testing. Identifies key terms and concepts, provides information about the most widely used standardized achievement tests, and discusses some controversies... [more]

A Measure of Knowledge. Article in the American School Board Journal, February 2002, about standardized assessment... [more]

State Education Indicators with a Focus on Title I. Report by the US Department of Ed which is useful as a reference source on standards and tests used by states... [more]. Within that report, see especially this sub-page

Assessment and Accountability Systems in the 50 States: 1999-2000, by Margaret E. Goertz, Mark C. Duffy, with Kerstin Carlson LeFloch. A CPRE Report of March 2001. Looks descriptive and comprehensive about what states are using... [more]

Student Performance Standards of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. By NAGP, November 2000. Describes States' performance standards... [more]

News and Views

Testing Debate: Standard praise for the new SAT, by Stanley Kurtz (NRO, 020821). A careful look at the debate over the recently announced changes in the SAT and the pressures from the UC Chancellor. Kurtz concludes that the College Board has caved in and eliminated an irreplaceable measure of academic ability... [more]

Debate Over the SAT Masks Perilous Trends in College Admissions, by Lee Bollinger (CHE, 020712). The President of Columbia University weighs in. While careful not to be controversial, he does distance himself from UC Chancellor Atkinson's position... [more]

Number 2 Pencil, by Kimberly Swygert. A Weblog with focus on testing and assessment... [more]

Related Collections

Maintained by NYC HOLD

Math and Science Curriculum
Philosophy of Education
Standards and Assessment
Education Research
Education Policy

Maintained by Others

Illinois Loop, by Kevin Killion. Articles are organized thematically under these headings: Reading; Literature; Math; Science; Computers; Social Studies; Art and Music; Projects vs. Learning; Tests and Assessment; Textbooks; Homework; and several others.

Bastiaan J. Braams
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University