Publications & Resources

Testing and Teaching: Local Implementation of New State Assessments

Sep 1997

Lorraine M. McDonnell and Craig Choisser

Based on telephone and on-site interviews with 139 teachers and school administrators plus assignments and daily logs from 23 Kentucky and 23 North Carolina teachers, Lorraine McDonnell and Craig Choisser examined the extent to which policy makers’ expectations about the instructional effects of testing actually occur in local schools and classrooms. The authors found that the instruction by teachers was reasonably consistent with the state assessment goals at the level of classroom activities, but not consistent in terms of the conceptual understandings the assessments were measuring. “Teachers,” conclude McDonnell and Choisser, “have added new instructional strategies such as having students work in groups, but they are still using traditional approaches as well, and have not fundamentally changed the depth and sophistication of the content they are teaching.” The authors claim that assessments must be supported by a strong infrastructure of teacher capacity-building and instructional materials.

McDonnell, L. M., & Choisser, C. (1997). Testing and teaching: Local implementation of new state assessments (CSE Report 442). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).