Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2006 Issue »

    Real Improvement for Real Students

    Test Smarter, Serve Better

    Betty J. Sternberg
    In this essay, Betty J. Sternberg argues that the increased money and time spent on meeting the summative testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) adds little to the existing “gold standard” testing conducted by the State of Connecticut. Sternberg highlights the challenges faced by one state in meeting the requirements of NCLB: She identifies the diversion of multiple resources, the limited usefulness of summative testing, and the inability of testing companies to meet increased demands as impediments to improving student achievement. Using Connecticut’s program-focused accountability model, Sternberg posits that the right combination of formative testing in conjunction with summative testing and supplementary programming ensures the academic success of all students.

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    Betty J. Sternberg is the superintendent of the Greenwich (Connecticut) Public Schools. She is a twenty-six-year veteran of the Connecticut State Department of Education, where she served as commissioner of education for the State of Connecticut between 2003 and 2006. Sternberg directed the development of the Connecticut Mastery Test and Connecticut Academic Performance Test, the state’s annual assessments of student achievement.
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    Winter 2006 Issue

    Abstracts

    Foreword (full text)
    Senator Edward M. Kennedy
    Introduction to Assessing NCLB (full text)
    The Editors
    No Child Left Behind
    The Ongoing Movement for Public Education Reform
    Rod Paige
    From New Deal to No Deal
    No Child Left Behind and the Devolution of Responsibility for Equal Opportunity
    Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe
    Will NCLB Improve or Harm Public Education?
    John W. Borkowski and Maree Sneed
    Domesticating a Revolution
    No Child Left Behind Reforms and State Administrative Response
    Gail L. Sunderman and Gary Orfield
    Real Improvement for Real Students
    Test Smarter, Serve Better
    Betty J. Sternberg
    Why Connecticut Sued the Federal Government over No Child Left Behind
    Richard Blumenthal
    Getting Ruby a Quality Public Education
    Forty-Two Years of Building the Demand for Quality Public Schools through Parental and Public Involvement
    Arnold F. Fege
    Accountability without Angst?
    Public Opinion and No Child Left Behind
    Frederick M. Hess
    Forces of Accountability?
    The Power of Poor Parents in NCLB
    John Rogers
    No Child Left Behind and High School Reform
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Troubling Images of Teaching in No Child Left Behind
    Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Susan Lytle
    High School Students’ Perspectives on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act’s Definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher
    Veronica Garcia, with Wilhemina Agbemakplido, Hanan Abdella, Oscar Lopez Jr., and Rashida T. Registe