ERIC Number: ED338641
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: 0
Raising the Stakes in Statewide Mandatory Minimum Competency Testing.
Corbett, H. Dickson; Wilson, Bruce
The mandated minimum competency programs of two states--Pennsylvania and Maryland--are examined, and some of the effects on school districts of raising the testing stakes are reviewed. In a survey conducted during the winter of 1986-87 in Pennsylvania and Maryland, one teacher, one principal, and one central office staff member each from 277 Pennsylvania districts and 23 Maryland school systems replied to a questionnaire on the testing program. The stakes increased in Maryland due to the approach of the time when Maryland students would be responsible for passing all four state competency tests to graduate. The stakes increased in Pennsylvania due to a brief public release of school district rankings based on test scores from the spring of 1987 test administration. The survey results indicate that school districts in higher stakes testing situations make more adjustments to instruction and organization than do districts in lower stakes situations. In both states, the perception of higher stakes associated with testing resulted in an intensification of the pressure on local educators to improve test scores, which in turn stimulated changes in local practices. High stakes statewide testing programs were seen to alter the political character of districts by increasing the probability that community elements could and would exercise influence. Such effects of high stakes testing could counteract efforts to reform teaching. (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Graduation Requirements, High Stakes Tests, Minimum Competency Testing, Principals, Questionnaires, School Personnel, School Surveys, Secondary School Teachers, State Programs, Test Results, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Research for Better Schools, 444 North Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers: Maryland; Pennsylvania; Stakeholder Survey