The Washington Post's The Answer Sheet asked prominent researcher and educational psychologist David Berliner of Arizona State University to explain why rising standardized test scores may not mean that students have learned anything.
Here is an excerpt from the answer:
Conclusion: It is likely that there will always be some corruption associated with the people and the tests used to assess learning when so much pressure is on administrators and teachers to increase test scores.
This means that when scores do go up, we need to be wary. We need to investigate whether the rise in test scores is a real indicator of greater learning or some form of deception.Unfortunately research suggests that deception and cheating in contemporary American culture, including our schools, has become more acceptable.