ERIC Number: ED413348
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
New Teaching Standards and Old Tests: Dangerous Mismatch?
Mayer, Daniel P.
As almost every state attempts to reform mathematics instruction by implementing new teaching standards, state testing practices remain largely unchanged. Is there a mismatch between these new standards and the old tests? This question is investigated by examining whether middle school and high school algebra students taught in a manner consistent with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) "Professional Standards" performed differently on three standardized algebra assessments than students taught in traditional classrooms. The data come from 94 teachers, 2,369 students, and 40 schools in 1 of the nation's largest school districts. Results indicate that a mismatch does not exist between the "Standards" and the old tests. In fact, middle school algebra students whose teachers spent more time using the NCTM teaching approach had higher growth rates than students whose teachers spent less time using the approach. However, students with higher ability levels benefited more. The growth rates of the lowest achieving students, the high school students (who were disproportionately poor and black), were not helped or hindered by the NCTM teaching approach. This study provides policymakers with evidence that traditional multiple choice tests do not directly undermine the standards movement in this one school district. On the other hand, old tests will not provide teachers of low-achieving students with any incentive to adopt the "Standards." (Contains 2 figures, 8 tables, and 50 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: College Board, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A