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Test Scores and Teaching

November 03, 1987

As I read the article about test scores, I wondered when we will realize that the test scores of a school and the achievement that they are supposed to represent are not as much a function of what the school does as they are a function of the characteristics of the students.

Selective migration is a reasonable explanation of what accounts for the variation in test scores among schools. As educational and economic opportunities for certain groups have expanded, many high-achieving students have left certain schools and gone to others, and that has caused certain schools' test scores to decline and others to rise. In any case, Prof. Gary Orfield is not justified in drawing conclusions regarding performance of schools from what appears to be simply an analysis of test data, not research or evaluation.

GEORGE H. NORSTRAND

Northridge

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