ERIC Number: ED425188
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Setting Higher Sights: A Need for More Demanding Assessments for U.S. Eighth Graders.
American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.
An examination of the content and level of mastery required of students taking statewide mathematics achievement tests was conducted to provide clues about the kind and level of mathematics valued in the United States. Proposals for voluntary national tests also contributed to the rationale for the study. In particular, this study: (1) examined eighth grade mathematics testing by the states to see if, in fact, a de facto national test already existed as a result of widespread use of a limited number of commercial tests; (2) analyzed the content and rigor of three U.S. commercial and two state eighth grade mathematics tests; and (3) compared the content and rigor of U.S. tests to those used by Japan and France, two countries in which students outperformed American eighth graders on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study. Findings indicate: the United States does appear to have a de facto national test in mathematics that is visible in current mathematics test content; tests taken by large percentages of students across the country that are either the same or similar assess low-level content and difficulty at the eighth grade level; and because existing tests determine what gets taught and what materials get published, they cannot move the United States to the goal of being first in the world. (Contains 1 chart, 2 tables, and 15 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study