Capstone/Dissertation Title

The costs of success on the high-stakes standardized reading test in terms of standards based instruction in a high-minority, high poverty elementary school





Degree Name



This research examines the costs to standards based instruction in reading that occur as a result of teaching for success on Minnesota's high-stakes standardized test in a high-minority, high-poverty school. This study builds on past research that broadly examined the connection between high-stakes testing and standards (e.g. Council for Basic Education, 2004 National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy, 2003), and extends the use of the social science version of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle as a theoretical framework, previously used by Amrein and Berliner in their examination of the manifold impact of high-stakes graduation tests (2002). Utilizing a one-dimensional, qualitative, ethnographic framework, this research entailed surveying and interviewing two third and two fifth grade teachers. Costs discovered include, among others, a transformation of the curriculum for 29% of the year, disregard of non-tested standards, and extensive training in non-standards based test taking skills and strategies.

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