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High Stakes Tests and Ethical Questions

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What high - stakes testing is administered in your local school district or your state?

Related issues surrounding the test and ethical issues.

What do you consider the top three issues in testing and explain how you might deal with these issues in the classroom?

What factors might influence your decisions?

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Solution Preview

I teach in Utah. There are several high stakes tests given here. In the core subject areas, CRT (Criterion Referenced Tests) are given in English 10, 11, Algebra, Geometry, Biology, and U.S. History. These tests are given at the end of the year.

The biggest issues with the CRT tests is that they are given a full month before the school year is over. Thus, a teacher doesn't have time to adequately cover the core requirements. This usually results in stressed teachers who cram through a lot of material in March trying to prepare their students for a test that is given too early. This stresses the students and a lot of them shut down. Additionally, the CRT results do not affect the students at all. The CRT results are used to compare districts, schools, and individual teachers. So, teachers are begging their students to do their best, but the students know that the results of the CRT do not impact them at all. So, only students who are intrinsically motivated will do their best.

Another issue with the CRT is that Utah is making students take these tests on-line in order to save money. This is not the best way to take a test; especially the English tests where students will be reading large blocks of ...

Solution Summary

High stakes tests are used everywhere to assess student learning. However, their effectiveness has been called into question. How does a teacher prepare her student for these tests and dodge the ethical dilemmas created by these tests?