Publications & Resources

Will National Tests Improve Student Learning?

Dec 1992

Lorrie A. Shepard

This report addresses many essential questions relevant to the development and implementation of national tests: Will national examinations ensure high-quality instruction and greater student learning? Will tests developed in the short-term to meet urgent political deadlines retain the essential features of authentic, curriculum-driven assessments? Can national tests overcome technical and fairness problems? How do we pay for national assessments? Shepard concludes that “if tests are developed in advance of curriculum change, without teacher training, and imposed externally, with factory-like ideas of how to create scores, then it is likely that new tests will have many of the same pernicious effects as old tests.”

Shepard, L. A. (1992). Will national tests improve student learning? (CSE Report 342). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).