Bob Schaeffer, Executive Director of FairTest, talks about high-stakes standardized tests as barriers to equal opportunity. Fairer college admissions criteria are increasing admissions diversity, but well-funded supporters of high-stakes tests are still resisting replacement of the tests in elementary and secondary schools. Many schools eliminated high-stakes testing during the pandemic, and FairTest supports making high-stakes waivers or repeals permanent.


00:00-00:46 Intros

00:46-01:31 FairTest’s objectives

01:31-02:22 Most success in higher ed

02:22-03:40 Changes in test use in college admissions

03:40-05:20 Affect on affirmative action

05:20-06:48 Relative costs in time and money of alternative measures for college admissions

06:48-07:33 Admission of foreign students

07:33-08:47 High stakes testing in other countries

08:47-10:48 Changes in high stakes testing in K-12

10:48 13:05 Resistance to changes in K-12 testing

13:05-15:17 Organizations who oppose changes; National PTA changed its position and began to support testing after Gates Foundation funding

15:17-16:59 Black parents’ concerns about wanting an “objective measure” of their child’s knowledge and why standardized tests don’t provide that

16:59-18:45 Alternatives to high stakes testing

18:45-20:09 False  promises of improving academic quality and reducing gaps

20:09-21:57 Appropriate role for standardized tests

21:57-23:34 Testing and regulation of charter schools

23:34-24:50 Corporations in testing-industrial complex

24:50-28:39 AP testing and College Board

28:39-30:45 Outro


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Soundtrack by Poddington Bear