ERIC Number: EJ771720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 15
The Truth about Students of Color and Standardized Tests
Thompson, Gail L.
Leadership, v36 n3 p22-26, 38 Jan-Feb 2007
Each year, when standardized test scores are published for California students, the same message tends to surface: In general, the scores of blacks and Latinos trail those of other groups, especially whites. This pattern emerges so often that it usually doesn't surprise educators or researchers. In the author's search to better understand the black-white achievement gap and the schooling experiences of students of color, particularly African Americans, she realized that little attention has been given to the "voices" of a very important but often ignored and discounted group--black students. This article is based on a larger study that the author conducted at a low-performing high school in Los Angeles County after the principal asked her to find out why so many black students were doing poorly on standardized tests. The study consisted of two parts: the completion of an original questionnaire developed by the author, and focus group discussions. The questionnaire was completed by 102 black ninth-twelfth graders; 62 participated in the focus groups. Forty-two percent were in college preparatory or honors classes, and 71 percent planned to attend a four-year postsecondary institution. Most believed they would graduate on time, and 80 percent said they had earned enough academic credits for their current grade level. The author also describes the students' views about standardized tests, whether or not they believed their teachers had adequately prepared them, and their recommendations regarding how teachers can better prepare students for standardized tests. The author concludes with a summary and her own recommendations for school leaders.
Descriptors: Measures (Individuals), Standardized Tests, African American Students, Hispanic Americans, Student Attitudes, Surveys, Teacher Effectiveness, Questionnaires, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Skills, Teacher Attitudes, Student Reaction
Association of California School Administrators. 1029 J Street Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814. Tel: 800-890-0325; Tel: 916-444-3216; Fax: 916-444-3739; Web site: http://www.acsa.org/publications/index.cfm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California