ProCon.org opens new site devoted to standardized testing debate

Standardized testing in the American public school system dates as far back as before the Civil War, but the question is still being asked whether the practice hurts or helps student performance.

Now a new website offers analysis of the standardized testing issue sponsored by ProCon.org, a Los Angeles-based non-profit created to provide objective research and explanation into key public policy issues.

The group's latest venture is a site devoted to arguments both in support and opposed to standardize testing.

For instance, as part of an initial set of arguments supporting the concept, the group offers observations from a 2002 article from the Education Consumers Foundation that argued standardized tests are reliable and objective measures of student achievement" and "without them, policy makers would have to rely on tests scored by individual schools and teachers who have a vested interest in producing favorable results."

In rebuttal, the site provides findings from a May, 2001 report from the National Research Council that "no evidence test-based incentive programs are working."

The education test site is one of 42 that the ProCon group manages that explore such topics as national health care reform, the bailout of auto manufacturers and illegal immigration.

The new standardized test site can be found at: http://standardizedtests.procon.org

Organizers say they have included citations from more than 140 sources; there are also historical articles, graphics and other data.

ProCon.org (online at http://www.procon.org/) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity whose mission is promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship.

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