What did they think they would find?

I was reading the Teachers College Record when I came across this gem of an article:

What Can Student Drawings Tell Us About High-Stakes Testing in Massachusetts?

by Anne Wheelock, Damian J. Bebell & Walt Haney � November 02, 2000

Many high-stakes testing policies rest on the belief that attaching consequences to test scores will persuade students of the importance of academics and will motivate them to exert greater effort to achieve at passing levels. This investigation explores this assumption through an examination of students’ drawings of themselves taking the Massachusetts high-stakes test. Student drawings conveyed a range of opinions about test difficulty, length, and content. A small minority of drawings depicted students as diligent problem-solvers and thinkers. A larger percentage of drawings portrayed students as anxious, angry, bored, pessimistic, or withdrawn from testing. The overall patterns that emerge challenge the belief that the high stakes associated with MCAS will enhance the motivation and effort of students in a uniform way.

There’s more, but I really didn’t see the point of summing it all up.  I’m sure that everyone can guess what they found.  Kids don’t like taking tests.  People don’t like taking tests (unless they’re those fun little quizzes that tell you which Buffy character you are most likely to be) and they especially don’t like having their worth as a student tied up in tests.  Well, some students do.  But those are the sick ones.

Of course, this article is eight years old, which begs the next question: why did TCR email me an eight year old article like it was news?


About alburnet

New mom, new natural, and..for the last year...still a new teacher!

Posted on December 27, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. haha. buffy quizes.
    tests are evil. i used to get stomach aches because i wanted to do so well and i was nervous if i didn’t. now, i really don’t care how i perform which is a little backwards, if you ask me. TESTING RUINED MY DESIRE TO SUCCEED!!11!!!! hehe.

  2. Beeeeecause it apparently hasn’t sunk in for some people. But maybe it’s the policymakers and not the teachers who need the slap in the face.

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