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ERIC Number: ED440915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan-7
Pages: 119
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A State-Mandated Curriculum, A High-Stakes Test: One Massachusetts High School History Department's Response to a Very New Policy Context.
Landman, Jonathan
Following passage of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act in 1993, comprehensive statewide assessments to evaluate students' mastery of required content and skills were developed in the core academic areas of mathematics, language arts, science, and history and social science. By 1998, the state had established assessments at the fourth, eighth, and tenth grade levels using the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test. A qualitative study explored how a varied group of four high school history/social science departments and the teachers in those departments were responding to this new policy: Were curricula and/or pedagogy changing? How did departments' members perceive the new framework and test? How did they perceive the impact of these new state initiatives? and How were these perceptions influencing the departments' responses? This case-study analysis of "Marwood," one of the four study sites, includes: fall and spring teacher interviews; a questionnaire and three interviews with the Department Head over the course of the year; spring interviews with Marwood's Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent; observational data including field notes; a survey of all interviewees; and departmental documents. Marwood's teachers articulated a range of substantive problems with the current framework and test. Data suggest that individual teachers' curricular ideologies influenced their responses to these policies. Faculty view their department as collegial and describe their departmental peers as engaged. The sense that they must align with the state framework to protect their students and themselves weighs heavily upon the Marwood faculty. Appendixes contain survey methods and findings, survey responses, information about Marwood High School, and a memorandum. (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts