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
Educational Reform & Policy

Systemic Reform

Math Reform

Science Reform

Technology Integration


International Focus and TIMSS


Assessment and Accountability

School Culture

Public Engagement

Professional Development

Teaching and Learning

LSC Papers and Reports



The Ambiguity of Test Preparation: A Multimethod Analysis in One State

author: William A. Firestone, Laura Monfils, Gregory Camilli, Roberta Schorr, Jennifer Hicks, David Mayrowetz
description: We studied test preparation activity among fourth-grade math and science teachers in New Jersey, using a survey of almost 300 teachers and observations of and interviews with almost 60. New Jersey uses a mix of open-ended and multiple-choice tests; links few stakes to test results, except for publication of scores; and offers limited professional development to teachers. New Jersey teachers are adopting specific techniques associated with more inquiry-oriented instruction, but their basic approach does not appear to be changing. Teachers do teach the content on the test with a new wrinkle. When more students are passing a test in one subject area than in another, emphasis shifts to the area with low scores. We found more direct instruction in lower socioeconomic districts but not less inquiry-oriented instruction. Finally, principal support has more influence on the test preparation strategies teachers use than does pressure to comply.
URL link:
published in: Teachers College Record
published: October 2003
posted to site: 03/03/2004