When high school graduation is contingent on passing a state test, is it "high stakes" or "low stakes"?

RightWingProf objects to people who use the term "high stakes test."
Low stakes testing?

Something has bothered me for a long time: the use (and implications) of the term, “high stakes testing.” For some reason, I only see this term used to describe some sort of standardized exam administered external to the class.

Do you note that this implies that the exams teachers give in class aren’t “high stakes”?

He continues:
Every time I read some educator who uses that term, the usage says he doesn’t care much about education.
I couldn't agree more.

In the comments, Joanne Jacobs made an important distinction:
The tests are high stakes [only] for the school, which may look bad or be placed on the “needs improvement” list.
The stakes need to be high for the kids, else a high school diploma carries little value. On the other hand if the stakes are high for the educrats and not for kids, then the educrats will juke the stats to make themselves look better. And students will get little out of the deal.

I think this is an important, underdiscussed topic. Related thoughts on this later, with a fresh angle.

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