Communication Center  Conference  Projects Share  Reports from the Field Resources  Library  LSC Project Websites  NSF Program Notes
 How to Use this site    Contact us  LSC-Net: Local Systemic Change Network
Best Practices

Queries and Replies


Bulletin Board

Discussion: A system within a system: How has the pedagogical stance of your LSC been influenced by your state/local context?

 previous post
 next post
 main /index
posted by: PGustafs @ on November 16, 2000 at 3:02PM
subject: Re: The effects of high stakes tests
I'm from Texas where the state name has become synonomous with high stakes testing. As most of you are aware, Texas requires an unbelievable amount of assesment from students. Our students begin testing in math and reading at grade three and continue to test through grade 10 in mathematics. We also assess writing at grade four and eight, and social studies and science at grade eight.

The good news in Texas is that elementary teachers are now focusing on mathematics rather than reading alone. Teachers are held accountable for all students and focus on students that are economically disadvantaged. What has happened because the amount of testing has in many ways narrowed our curriculum. Some schools are teaching from supplemental materials that are related to the TAAS test problem "look alikes" instead of focusing on rich mathematics. Many schools have had success on the TAAS because they are using this method of test prep. What occurs later is students in Algebra class who struggle because of the huge gaps in their mathematical knowledge.

In 2003 our state will begin to test every grade from three through eleven in mathematics and reading. At this time, students will have to pass math and reading tests at grades three, five and eight in order to be promoted to the next grade level.

The test at eleventh grade which focuses on algebra and geometry must be passed in order for students to graduate. The anticipated results are dismal.

The district that I work for is a large urban one in the capital city of Texas. The joke in our district is that politics is a recreation sport for all. Our district is consistently under the microscope about the smallest of details. The 70,000 students we work with are very diverse and the system is doing as much as possible to keep up with the many demands of educating all children.

 previous post
 next post