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Put to the Test: The Effects of External Testing on Teachers

Mary Lee Smith
Educational Researcher
Vol. 20, No. 5 (Jun. - Jul., 1991), pp. 8-11
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1176396
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Put to the Test: The Effects of External Testing on Teachers
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Abstract

Evidence from an extensive qualitative study of the role of external testing in elementary schools led to propositions about the effects of such tests on teachers. Data from interviews revealed that teachers experience negative emotions as a result of the publication of test scores and determine to do what is necessary to avoid low scores. Teachers believe that scores are used against them, despite the perceived invalidity of the tests themselves. From classroom observations it was concluded that testing programs substantially reduce the time available for instruction, narrow curricular offerings and modes of instruction, and potentially reduce the capacities of teachers to teach content and to use methods and materials that are incompatible with standardized testing formats.

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