Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice


testing, curriculum, standardized tests, high stakes tests


Since the institution of the common school and the advent of universal education, Americans have placed tremendous faith in public schools. Public education cultivates an informed citizenry, one of the pillars of a liberal democracy. But more importantly, schools are a repository for our common dreams of human potential and individual self-actualization. Because they so thoroughly shape the lives and life-chances of our youth, school issues are freighted with an emotional charge. Education remains the last fully public American institution, one in which millions of students cast their common lot daily and strive to become better readers, better citizens, better people. With these premises as critical background, we have undertaken the project guiding this paper: to invite readers to think deeply about the impact of high-stakes testing on the school-aged citizens of this country especially in light of the core elements of what assessment ought to be about for students. We want to prompt readers to pause, to take note of some of the key threads in the professional conversation about assessment these days, and to then respond accordingly.

Author Statement

Dr Enrique Murillo and Dr Alayne Sullivan are professors in the College of Education, California State University San Bernardino.