ERIC Number: ED342018
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Composition in the Context of the CAP: A Case Study of the Interplay between Assessment and School Life. Technical Report No. 58.
Loofbourrow, Peggy Trump
A study was designed to evaluate the interplay between the California Assessment Program (CAP), the broadest assessment California's students undergo, and one junior high school. The study was conducted at a racially and socioeconomically heterogeneous school in the San Francisco Bay area. Observations were made on the school, department, and classroom level. Data included: written descriptions of the physical environment; documents including daily messages in bulletins; and field notes documenting CAP-related events. Eight different student writing activities were noted: (1) lecture; (2) directed discussion; (3) discussion; (4) group work; (5) reading original writing; (6) writing; (7) completing work sheets; and (8) unsolicited talking. The theme that emerged from the research was the competitive nature of the CAP. The single score is viewed as a reflection of the principal's leadership. As a result, the principal assumes the role of head coach, and attempts to educate the faculty and students about the importance, content, and results of the test. Language arts teachers are cast in the role of coaches to help students earn the best possible scores. Some students and teachers experience stress from the CAP. Only when assessment is viewed as a dynamic part of school life can the interplay between the community, faculty, students, and the community be understood. (Two figures are included; 28 references and an appendix on observational writing are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.
Identifiers: California Assessment Program; California (San Francisco); Teaching to the Test