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ERIC Number: ED505375
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 260
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 81
State Standardized Testing Programs: Their Effects on Teachers and Students
Moon, Tonya R.; Brighton, Catherine M.; Jarvis, Jane M.; Hall, Catherine J.
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented
A driving force in standards-based educational reform was the 1983 release of "A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform" (National Commission of Excellence in Education [NCEE], 1983). The report called for "an end to the minimum competency testing movement and the beginning of a high-stakes testing movement that would raise the nation's standards of achievement drastically" (Amrein & Berliner, 2003, p. 6). This report was predicated on the assumption that the public school system was in dire need of comprehensive reform to increase student and school performance, as it was currently failing to effectively prepare the nation's youth for the workplace and preventing Americans from competing on an international stage (Marcoulides & Heck, 1994; Smith & Fey, 2000). The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of state testing programs on schools, teachers, and students, focusing on selected issues that have arisen separately from previous studies. The trigulated mixed method study was conducted in two phases. The theoretical, conceptual framework that was used for both phases of the study was that of an interpretist theory (Erickson, 1986). Blumer's (1972) framework of symbolic interactionism guided the phase focusing on student perceptions of state testing. For Phase I, survey methodology was used to ascertain the beliefs and self-reported practices of a national sample of elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. Phase II employed a qualitative research methodology to ascertain students' and teachers' perceptions of the influences that state testing mandates have on the curricula and the instructional process. Results from both studies indicated four prominent findings: (a) teachers and students feel a tremendous amount of pressure associated with high-stakes testing; (b) the pressure felt by teachers results in drill and practice type of curriculum and instruction; (c) the pressure felt by high-stakes testing is greater in disadvantaged schools and results in more drill and practice instruction; and (d) gifted and talented students feel pressure to perform well to bring up all scores oftentimes resulting in disengagement from the learning process. (Contains 48 tables.)
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. University of Connecticut, 2131 Hillside Road, Unit 3007, Storrs, CT 06269-4676. Tel: 860-486-4676; Fax: 860-486-2900; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented