Teachers Reported Moderate Concerns and Need for Additional Professional Development Prior to 2015 Testing
Feb 1, 2016
This report shares U.S. principals' and teachers' concerns about implementation of state assessment tests aligned to the new standards, drawing on new survey tools for understanding educators' perspectives: RAND's American Teacher Panel (ATP) and American School Leader Panel (ASLP). Findings indicate particular concern with students' test performance, as well as more prevalent concerns about the PARCC assessment compared with other assessments.
Findings from the American Teacher and American School Leader Panels
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Many states have recently made major changes to their K–12 student testing programs. The media have reported growing dissatisfaction with the amount of testing happening in schools and the use of tests for high-stakes decisionmaking. However, there is little systematically gathered information on the perspectives of U.S. educators who have firsthand knowledge about testing and its effects on teaching and learning. This report shares U.S. principals' and teachers' main concerns about testing, drawing upon new survey tools for understanding educators' perspectives and implementation of major education policies: RAND's American Teacher Panel (ATP) and American School Leader Panel (ASLP). The findings are drawn from the ATP and ASLP surveys fielded in February 2015, before the full administration of most state-mandated exams. Findings indicate particular concern with students' test performance, as well as more prevalent concerns about the PARCC assessment compared with other assessments. The information about U.S. educators' concerns will serve as a baseline for tracking changes in attitudes over time. This analysis focuses on "the main state-mandated test for mathematics" and "for English language arts" (ELA) that teachers and principals reported their students taking. This report was updated in October 2016. The current version provides estimates based on updated weights for a small percentage of the respondents. Weights were updated to account for infrequent misclassification in the assignment of school-level characteristics.
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