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ERIC Number: EJ1062724
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 28
The Effect of Standardized Testing on Historical Literacy and Educational Reform in the U.S.
Maranto, Julie Hisey
Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research, v3 Spr 2015
History, when taught properly, and by instructors who are well grounded in the subject matter, is engaging and enlightening. Presently, through insipid curriculum and lack of class time, generations of students are being deprived of a grasp of American history that gives meaning and depth to the concept of citizenship. This article discusses the history of public education in the United States, which extends back to the earliest days of the nation. Calls for educational reform began almost as soon as the public school system became an established American institution, which resulted in the first standardized test being designed and administered in 1845. The release of the 1983 report, "A Nation at Risk," listed "social studies" as an area that should receive attention, "language, science and mathematics" were the subject areas viewed as most essential to "confidently launch[ing]...children into today's world" ("Education," 1983, p41-42). The release of the report and the ensuing attention it received proved to be the decisive moment at which data collection--almost exclusively in the disciplines of math and reading--became the driving force behind education reform, and the study of history was quickly relegated to a distant secondary status. Time spent on teaching social studies cannot be justified when only math and reading scores determine funding levels, and ultimately, the fate of individual schools. This article explains the following in regard to historical literacy in standardized testing: (1) Score Comparisons; (2) Effects on Curriculum; (3) Opposition; and (4) Test Design Issues.
Descriptors: Standardized Tests, Educational Testing, Educational Change, History Instruction, United States History, Elementary Secondary Education, Scores, National Competency Tests, Public Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress