The message from AIMS’ latest Research Report on testing and accountability in education is simple: governments cannot claim to be properly managing our educational resources, money and students, without using standardised tests for basic benchmarks. To be of value, however, these test results must be reported showing school, school board, and provincial achievement standards, so that teachers, parents, and taxpayers can determine how well students are doing in comparison with other students.
“Testing and Accountability: The Keys to Educational Excellence in Atlantic Canada” also examines the criticisms often levelled at standardised testing, such as that they don’t measure real student progress, or that they impoverish students’ educational experience because teachers must “teach to the test”. The authors find that these criticisms do not withstand critical examination. While properly designed standardised testing is not the only evaluative tool that parents, students and schools need, it is an indispensable one according to the latest research.