Used to make important decisions about students, educators, schools, or districts, most commonly for the purpose of accountability
most commonly for the purpose of accountability—i.e., the attempt by federal, state, or local government agencies and school administrators to ensure that students are enrolled in effective schools and being taught by effective teachers. In general, “high stakes” means that test scores are used to determine punishments (such as sanctions, penalties, funding reductions, negative publicity), accolades (awards, public celebration, positive publicity), advancement (grade promotion or graduation for students), or compensation (salary increases or bonuses for administrators and teachers).
Tests are based on clearly defined standards and provide important information on students' performance growth and declines.
High-stakes tests cause any subject that isn't math or language arts to be pushed out of the classroom. Subjects like science, social studies and the arts are sacrificed to make time for more test prep.
Pressure on teachers can clamp down on creativity and innovation. Thanks to pressure from the government, teachers often feel compelled to "teach to the test," resulting in less flexibility to tailor lesson plans to individual students or class groups. Less freedom and innovation can also mean unhappier teachers and higher classroom turnover.
Increased pressure on parents and students is counter-productive.