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ERIC Number: EJ889147
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Unintended Consequences: High Stakes Can Result in Low Standards
Perlstein, Linda
American Educator, v34 n2 p6-9 Sum 2010
In all the elementary schools in the county, benchmark assessments were given six times a year in math and three times in reading; they were modeled after the questions anticipated on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA). Although results were sent to the school board, there were no cosmic consequences for the hourlong tests; they were supposed to be used by teachers to diagnose problems and adjust instruction. But at Tyler Heights Elementary School, benchmarks were seen as facsimiles of the MSA and treated with commensurate intensity. The first day of school was the last day the third-graders didn't write a BCR--a "brief constructed response," a paragraph-sized answer that's required on the state test. Using Tyler Heights as an example, this article illustrates how standards and students suffer when test scores are the only official indicator of school quality. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland