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Document Number: 4165

High-Stakes Testing and the History of Graduation - This article from the Education Policy Analysis Archives provides historical perspective on high-stakes testing and suggests that tests required for high school graduation will have mixed results for the supposed value of high school diplomas. The history of high-stakes testing points to several general conclusions about the relationship between testing and graduation patterns such as: (1) graduation requirements are likely to have indirect as well as direct effects on the likelihood of graduating; (2) the proliferation of different exit documents may dilute efforts to improve the education of all students; and (3) graduation requirements will not diminish the general cultural confusion in the United States about the purpose of secondary education and a high school diploma, especially confusion about whether the educational, exchange or other value of a diploma is most important. (Sherman Dorn, Education Policy Analysis Archives, January 2003)...

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