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ERIC Number: ED518221
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Accountability and Teacher Practice: Investigating the Impact of a New State Test and the Timing of State Test Adoption on Teacher Time Use
Cocke, Erin F.; Buckley, Jack; Scott, Marc A.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
There is much debate over the impact of high stakes testing as well as a growing body of research focused on both the intended and unintended consequences of these tests. One claim of both the popular media and education researchers is that high stakes tests have led to curricular narrowing--the idea that school time is increasingly allocated to tested subjects to the detriment of non tested ones (Dillon, 2006; Center for Education Policy, 2006; West, 2007). In order to investigate the effects of testing on the allocation of instructional time, the authors analyze changing trends in reported teacher time use in situations where testing in new subjects has been recently added. This study uses the three most recent waves (1999-2000, 2003-2004 and 2007, 2008) of the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) data to explore the how the addition of tests in science and social studies over time have impacted teacher time use within states. This exploration of the impact of a state test in science and social studies on teacher time use indicates that for states that added a test in science there is a small impact of this test on reported teacher time use in science. In addition, there is no significant impact of a new test in social studies on teacher time use in social studies. These results are in contrast with prior work finding a significant impact of a test in social studies and science on reported teacher time in these subjects (West, 2007). One obvious conclusion is that the content of what teachers are teaching matters and is driving change in student test scores rather than the actual time spent teaching each subject. However, this small impact could also be due to the lack of federal pressure currently associated with social studies and science tests, as these tests do not yet impact whether a school meets Average Yearly Progress. Teacher behavior may understandably be more responsive to high pressure accountability than to accountability without sanctions attached. (Contains 4 figures and 2 footnotes.)
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Schools and Staffing Survey (NCES)