This article examines how teachers talk about student ability and achievement in the era of data-driven decision making and how their talk is shaped by the context in which they work.
Introduction to the special issue.
In this qualitative study, I examined 11 adolescent long-term English language learners’ (ELLs) educational experience via their voices in the context of their performances on state-mandated language and academic achievement tests. Findings derived from participants’ individual interviews and various school records indicated that participating ELLs experienced multiple layers of limited opportunity to learn as they moved through the educational process. Informed by the social capital framework research and theory, findings suggest that participants’ gaps in learning continued to grow with each subsequent year of schooling, exacerbated by their limited access to appropriate language programs and academic resources, thereby rendering them struggling, low-achieving, long-term ELLs. Despite their academic challenges, participating ELLs remained eager to succeed in school, which raises a critical question regarding how well the educational system is prepared to provide them with high quality, rigorous programs that are responsive to their linguistic and academic needs.
This paper analyzes the different ways in which white parents and parents of color conceive of good parenting in the era of high-stakes testing. It demonstrates the processes that help to produce inequities in our current educational system related to race, class, and G&T identification.
This article systematically analyzes self-report student survey instruments that assess student-teacher relationships. From its results, implications are drawn for conceptual specification and future survey design.
This study investigates the existence and extent of significantly different subgroups of teacher and leader responses to the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) survey. This survey is a formative assessment of school leadership developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison employing the principles of distributed leadership and current research on leadership activities that promote student learning.
Authors use data from the Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida to consider the consequences of particular characteristics of instruction and testing in high school for the modeling and estimation of value-added measures of school or teacher effectiveness.
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.
The Dynamic Learning Maps™ Alternate Assessment is based on a different set of guiding principles than other assessments. In this article we describe its characteristics and look at the history of alternate assessment and the problems in implementing useful assessment programs for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
The accountability movement and high-stakes testing fail to attend to ongoing instructional improvements based on the regular assessment of student skills and teacher practices. The purpose of this article is to describe the School System Improvement Project’s hybrid approach to utilizing both formative and summative assessments to (a) inform decisions about effective instruction based on all students’ and teachers’ needs, and (b) guide high-stakes decisions about teacher effectiveness.
Drawing on state-level panel data for the 2007–2009 period, this study examines the potential overuse of test accommodations for students with disabilities as a gaming strategy to inflate state-level proficiency gains in response to high-stakes accountability pressures. We identify particular conditions under which test accommodations are more likely to be used for gaming and specify several directions for further research.
This mixed-methods study investigates a model of professional development built around a standardized classroom observation tool designed to measure the quality of teaching in middle school English Language Arts classrooms.
An analysis using a nationally-representative dataset suggests that raising test scores by one standard deviation (SD) would substantially reduce the probabilities that black, Hispanic, Asian, and white students would drop out of high school and would increase the probabilities that students would compile a rigorous high school record, complete algebra 2 in high school, enroll at a 4-year institution, and attain a baccalaureate degree.
This study evaluates the information significance of Oklahoma A–F school accountability grades relevant to the policy objective of achievement equity.
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.
The achievement gap may be explained as a consequence of the conventional structure of schooling and the failure to individualize task difficulty and provide performance feedback in a way that is necessary to ensure that all students experience mastery.
This study utilizes a non-equivalent control group design and quantitative analyses to compare the association between classroom grades and standardized test scores.
To allay public concerns that state exit examination mandates might unfairly hinder some students’ educational attainment prospects, most states with exam requirements offer alternative routes to graduation for all students. This study probes the relationship between various exam difficulty-alternative route policy combinations and the subsequent attainment outcomes of tenth-graders.
This article demonstrates that the carryover effects of STAR’s small classes are not robust; the effects are driven mostly by a small number of STAR schools.
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 challenges the presumption that the educational testing of students provides objective information about such students.
This paper considers future educational assessment in terms of principles of evidential reasoning, focusing the discussion on the changes to the claims our assessments must support, the types of evidence needed to support these claims, and the statistical tools available to evaluate our evidence vis-à-vis the claims. An expanded view of assessment is advanced in which assessments based on multiple evidence sources from contextually rich situated learning environments, including unconventional data regarding human competencies, improve our ability to make valid inferences and decisions all education stakeholders.
Educational researchers and policymakers have often lamented the failure of teachers to implement what they consider to be technically sound assessment procedures. Through a case study of New York City’s Central Park East Secondary School (CPESS), in the years when it served as a model for progressive American school reform, Duckor and Perlstein demonstrate the usefulness of an alternative to reliance of the technical characteristics of standardized tests for constructing and judging assessments: teachers’ self-conscious and reasoned articulation of their approaches to learning and assessment. They conclude that when teachers are given opportunities for genuine, shared reflection on teaching and learning and classroom practices are tied to this understanding, fidelity to what they call the logic of assessment offers a more promising framework for the improvement of schooling than current forms of high-stakes, standardized accountability. Thus, instead of expecting teachers to rely on data from standardized assessments or replicate features of standardized testing in their own assessment practices, researchers, policymakers and teacher educators should promote fidelity to the broader logic of assessment.
Drawing upon the concept of interpretive flexibility, this study illuminates some of the sensemaking processes around teachers’ uses of data and computer data systems. Accordingly, it provides recommendations regarding how researchers, school, and district leaders might be more attentive to the “people problems” around data system implementation.
In this article, the author describes the history of classroom research and notes that, despite potential for present day application, many of those who currently develop observational systems for evaluating teachers appear to be unaware of this literature. The author describes what we know about effective teaching, the limits of using this information, and the need for identifying new important outcomes of schooling that can be used in teacher evaluation.
This paper reviews the literature on teacher effects and focuses on value-added measures and their use in evaluating teachers. Suggestions about the use of value-added measures and about the future of teacher effects research are provided.
In this study, the researchers surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia to provide an inclusive national growth and value-added model overview.