Testing: Toward National Assessment

The U.S. Office of Education is formed "for the purpose of collecting such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several States . . . and of diffusing such information."

— Act of Congress, March 2, 1867. Despite that century-old charge, the Federal Government has never diffused, much less collected, any meaningful facts on the quality of education put forth by U.S. schools. Against strong opposition from local school officials, who remain fearful that federal testing means "federal control," the Carnegie Corporation, with Ford Foundation and Government backing, has...

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