ERIC Number: ED362837
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Assessment and Decision Making in Beta. Technical Report No. 590.
Weinzierl, Janelle; And Others
This report presents findings from Beta, one of four school districts examined in a series of case studies that investigated the complex relationship between reading assessment and instruction. The research was situated in the context of school decision making. Teachers, principals, parents, students, and central office staff were interviewed to determine how decisions were made in the district and how that decision-making process influenced assessment and instruction. In addition, teachers were observed, and discussions were conducted with them about the observations. A constant comparative method was used to identify patterns in the data. Findings showed that standardized-test data played a powerful role in Beta, with teachers, principals, and central office staff reporting that such data were the most viable way to understand how students were doing. Teachers' assessments were rarely mentioned. Within the classroom, teachers felt that they needed to "cover" the textbooks before state and district testing so that their students would score well. Teachers spent classroom time helping students prepare for the test; indeed, sometimes the curriculum for the entire year was driven by the test. Curriculum was synonymous with textbooks, and using textbooks was expected to lead to good test scores. Educators in Beta seemed to feel that the tests measured what mattered, and that therefore it was reasonable to modify curriculum and instruction to match the test. (One table and three figures of data are included; a letter to schools describing the research project, and a list of interview and observation codes are attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Reading, Urbana, IL.