This article examines the tensions that can materialize at the intersection of high-stakes accountability assessments and the rights of parents of students with dis/abilities.
Connecticut experienced two major changes in testing policy for children with disabilities that played a major role in conclusions about educational progress in the state. The responses to these changes in testing policy make Connecticut an illuminating case regarding the problem of high-stakes testing and changes in policies for students with disabilities in a state characterized by deep racial and economic inequity.
This article analyzes the effects of mandated accountability testing, teachers' knowledge and beliefs, and teachers' milieu on the work of four social studies teachers in one middle school in Texas. The article argues that more comprehensive and holistic research efforts are needed for researches to be able to more fully understand and communicate to readers the combination of factors that impact teachers' work.
This study utilizes a non-equivalent control group design and quantitative analyses to compare the association between classroom grades and standardized test scores.
This article explains the idea of a neopragmatic postmodernist test theory and offers some thoughts about what changing notions concerning the nature of and meanings assigned to knowledge imply for educational assessment, present and future.
Reprinted with permission from Transitions in Work and Learning: Implications for Assessment, 1997, by the National Academy of Sciences, Courtesy of the National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
This article focuses on the public and Catholic school discourse that accompanied the introduction of IQ testing in the early 20th century. It analyzes the nature of the discourse among educational researchers, administrators, and teachers in two parallel educational settings and examines the way that public and Catholic school educators responded to IQ testing.
One of the basic problems in relating educational evaluation and educational practice is that the two activities often take place on radically differing time scales. It is not only a matter of aims—that evaluation of local educational practice as conducted by external researchers (or by the use of instruments designed by external researchers, as in the case of formal testing) may be done “summatively” for purposes of external accountability, and so the information collected may not directly inform the local conduct of instruction and school administration. It is also a matter of timeliness, in that whatever information is collected from a local site of practice may not be analyzed and communicated back to the site in time for frontline service providers to do anything about it, that is, in time for teachers to adapt their ongoing instruction in light of the information provided by the assessment.
This commentary considers the contradiction of using standardized tests to assess authentic learning.
This paper reports on a study of test preparation activity among fourth grade math and science teachers in New Jersey using a survey of almost 300 teachers and observations of and interviews with almost 60.
Results show that while New Jersey teachers are teaching the newly assessed content and adopting, at least on a cosmetic level, specific techniques associated with more inquiry-oriented instruction, there is more direct instruction in the lower SES districts. Finally, principal support has more influence on the test preparation strategies teachers use than does pressure to comply.
Using archival and secondary sources, the author examines the early history of state student assessment in the United States.
The author presents case studies of two high school social studies teachers and influence of state-level testing on their teaching practices.
An examination of the impact of the mode of test administration on student performance
The reponses of students asked to draw themselves as test-takers in Massachusetts raise questions about the policy assumption that all students will respond in a uniform and positive manner to high stakes testing.
A study of students' self-portraits as test-takers in Massachusetts stimulates discussion of the variation in students' responses to high-stakes testing according to individual idiosyncracies, grade level, and school context.
The authors set the stage for the story of assessment policy in Arizona in the 1990s that they will unfold in the segments to follow.
Part II of a serialized article on the evolution of the state assessment system in Arizona in the 1990's
Part III of a serialized article on the evolution of the state assessment system in Arizona in the 1990's
Using interview, observational, and archival data, the authors trace the development of assessment policy in Arizona in the 1990's.
There is a growing consensus as to the need for revising instruction in assessment at the preservice and in-service levels. After discussing the mismatch between instructional priorities in measurement courses and the perceived needs of teachers, the author proposes seven general assessment topics that need more attention in teacher education.
Can measurement really drive instruction and influence the
curriculum? How does a test come to exercise power over curriculum
and instruction? What is the nature of that power? This chapter
explores these issues. However, to anticipate, the lesson of history is
clear. Tests can be, have been, and in some places are the engines that
drive teaching and learning. Is this a good thing? The answer depends
on one's philosophy of instruction, curriculum, education, and testing.
There are profound implications in this driving metaphor about the
nature of instruction, curriculum, education, teaching, and testing.
A major effort by a well-known university to improve the reading skills of its students is described.
The purpose of this study is to determine the particular effects and influences of the College Entrance Board examinations in mathematics upon the teaching of secondary school mathematics.
America’s institutions of higher education are on the leading edge of forging the next generation of professionals who will compete in a world unlike that of our parents. The students of today will be competing on a global stage that demands rigor of thought, creativity and performance. In order for them to succeed, we must maintain high educational standards and give students every opportunity to demonstrate their potential. Colleges and universities need every tool at their disposal in order to meet these challenges, and the SAT has a clear role to play in this effort.
Statewide longitudinal databases are becoming sources for decision-making by policymakers, administrators, and teachers. These databases are tracking children and teachers, reducing the performance of children and the work of teachers to numbers. We call for an end to the obsession with the quantitative and hope for a rethinking of assessment and teaching practices that trust children and teachers as capable and critical to learning, teaching, and assessment.