|"States should delineate what students should know and
be able to do, teachers should match instruction to those standards, and
state tests should measure how well students meet those expectations."
-- Boser, U. (2000). Teaching
to the Test?. Education Week, June 7.
"Less time spent on algebra and more time spent on FCAT
[Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test] skills may produce someone who
can pass the FCAT but who probably now is a weak algebra student, who may
then become an even weaker geometry student and so on down the line."
-- Hale, R. Florida high school teacher, PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
Teaching to test narrows the curriculum. -- article
in The Florida Times-Union, March 7, 2001
"Teaching to the test is exactly the right thing to do as long as the
test is measuring what you are supposed to learn." -- Howard
Everson, as quoted in Bushweller, K. (1997). Teaching
to the Test. The American School Board Journal, September.
"Monty Neill, executive director of FairTest, an organization that is
highly critical of standardized tests, says tighter curriculum alignment
'can be good, or it can be really bad news.' [...] In many cases, he says,
the standardized tests used to hold schools accountable are predominantly
multiple choice, requiring memorization and regurgitation that forces districts
to develop a 'really tedious and boring' curriculum. Plus, Neill says,
'large portions of most state standards are not covered by these state
tests. Things not tested are likely not to be taught.'" -- ibid.
"Should we teach to the test? The answer is a qualified
yes. At this point in the nation’s efforts to strengthen science education
we could do worse than teaching to the NAEP Science tests." -- Champagne,
A. B. (1997). Teaching
to the Test, Basic Education, October
"Teaching to the test alters what you can interpret from test scores
because it involves teaching specific content." -- Mehrens,
W. A., Preparing Students To Take Standardized Achievement Tests. ERIC
Digest., ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests Measurement and Evaluation Washington
DC., American Institutes for Research Washington DC., Eric Identifier:
"Because teaching either to test items or to clones of those items eviscerates
the validity of score-based inferences—whether those inferences are made
by teachers, parents, or policymakers—item-teaching is reprehensible. It
should be stopped." -- Popham, J. (2001). Teaching
to the Test? Educational Leadership, 58(6), March.
"As for subject content being narrowed
or made shallow in anticipation of a test, a better response than eliminating
the test might be to replace it with one that probes deeper or more broadly."
-- Phelps, R. P. (1999).
Testing Experts Hate Testing.
Fordham Report 3(1), January.
"To sum up, states that use high-stakes exams may encounter a plethora
of problems that would undermine the interpretation of the scores obtained.
Some of these problems include the following: (1) students being coached
to develop skills that are unique to the specific types of questions that
are asked on the statewide exam (i.e., as distinct from what is generally
meant by reading, math, or the other subjects tested); (2) narrowing the
curriculum to improve scores on the state exam at the expense of other
important skills and subjects that are not tested; (3) an increase in the
prevalence of activities that substantially reduce the validity of the
scores; and (4) results being biased by various features of the testing
program (e.g., if a significant percentage of students top out or bottom
out on the test, it may produce results that suggest that the gap
among racial and ethnic groups is closing when no such change is occurring)."
-- RAND: Klein, S.P., Hamilton, L S., McCaffrey, D.
F., Stecher, B. M. (2000). What Do Test Scores in Texas Tell Us?, Education
Policy Analysis Archives, 8(49),October
"In their discussion, Gordon and Reese write that teacher respondents
'reported not just "teaching to the test" but also teaching to the test
format, and doing so at the expense of large portions of the curriculum'
(p. 363, emphasis in original). They also report that via focused 'TAAS
prep' teachers can 'teach students how to respond correctly to test items
even though the students have never learned the concepts on which they
are being tested' (p. 364). The authors conclude that 'drill and kill'
coaching and preparation for TAAS are taking a 'toll on teachers and students
alike'" -- Haney, W. (2000). The Texas Miracle in Education.
Education Policy Analysis Archives. 8(41)
(part 6), August 19