ERIC Number: ED474867
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan
Perceived Effects of State-Mandated Testing Programs on Teaching and Learning: Findings from Interviews with Educators in Low-, Medium-, and High-Stakes States.
Clarke, Marguerite; Shore, Arnold; Rhoades, Kathleen; Abrams, Lisa; Miao, Jing; Li, Jie
The goal of this study was to identify the effects of state-level standards-based reform on teaching and learning, paying particular attention to the state test and associated stakes. On-site interviews were conducted with 360 educators (elementary, middle, and high school teachers) in 3 states (120 in each state) attaching different stakes to the test results. In Kansas, state test results were used to determine school accreditation but had no stakes for students. In Michigan, school accreditation was determined by student participation in and performance on the state test and students received an endorsed diploma and were eligible for college tuition credit if they scored above a certain level on the 11th grade tests. In Massachusetts, school ratings were based on the percentage of students in different performance categories and students, starting in 2003, had to pass the 10th grade test to graduate. No clear relationship was found between the level of the stakes attached to the state test and the influence of the state standards on classroom practice. Findings suggest that other factors are at least as important, if not more so, in terms of encouraging educators to align classroom curricula with these standards. At the same time, as the stakes attached to the test results increased, the test seemed to become the medium through which the standards were interpreted. Taken together, findings suggest that stakes are a powerful level for effecting change, but one whose effects are uncertain. A one-size-fits-all model of standards, tests, and accountability in not likely to bring about the greatest motivation and learning for all students. Three appendixes contain a grid describing state testing programs, the interview protocol, and the methodology. (Contains 1 figure, 17 endnotes, and 40 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy, Chestnut Hill, MA.
Identifiers - Location: Kansas; Massachusetts; Michigan