Effects of State Testing Programs on Elementary Schools with High Concentrations of Student Poverty - Good News or Bad News?
In school districts across the country, accountability enacted through testing initiatives is beginning to play a more important role in documenting student attainment of high academic standards. Critics of the testing movement have argued that standardized testing is narrowing the curriculum resulting in instructional practices ineffective in promoting meaningful student learning. Using a nationally stratified random sample, public school teachers were surveyed on the effects of state testing programs on their practices. Results indicate that classroom practices were affected, most of these effects afflicted teachers in impoverished schools. Findings suggest that increases in test scores is not necessarily a result of student academic attainment but more of test preparation, calling into question the validity of such outcomes.