Potential Research Question – How has educational value shifted from a complete to a more test based curriculum due to No Child Left Behind? How has accountability changed the idea of education especially in Connecticut?
The drive to make teachers more accountable for their students is a trend spreading across the nation like wildfire. While there are positives to accountability there are also many negative aspects to go alongside. I believe that teachers should be accountable, but to what degree? How much impact, for example, is it fair to expect a teacher to have on a student who comes from a broken home? What do we expect from a teacher who takes on a student who received a poor education prior to entering that teacher’s class? Are we expecting a teacher to produce the same test scores from students in a lesser class as they do from students in an honors class?
Another main aspect to my argument is the entire idea of “teaching to the test”, which is a curriculum that is entirely based off of preparing students for test taking.
A key example of this idea is the No Child Left Behind Act. In a major expansion of the federal role in education, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires annual testing, specifies a method for judging school effectiveness, sets a timeline for progress, and establishes specific consequences in the case of failure. Over the past decade we have seen the entire idea of education change due to the No Child Left Behind program. Test scores are one way to evaluate students, teachers, and schools, but cannot be the only way. It is important to remember that tests are more than just numbers and scores. There are many other ways to conduct testing which do no place such extreme emphasis on numerical value and test taking. I want to take a look at the curriculum for schools before NCLB and after. I plan on using the state of Connecticut especially and my main sources in regards to Connecticut will be the CMT scores over the past 12 years.
Aspey, Susan. “Charting the Course: States Decide Major Provisions Under No Child Left Behind.” U.S. Department of Education.
Ravitch, Diane. The death and life of the great American school system: how testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books, 2010. Print.
“Teacher Accountability: Test Scores an Incomplete Measure – Teacher Talk – Connecticut News.” Connecticut News – Connecticut News. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012.
“Testing: Frequently Asked Questions.” U.S Department Of Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <www2.ed.gov/nclb/accountability/ayp/testing-faq.html>.
“Connecticut Student Assessment.”Connecticut Student Assessment. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ctreports.com/>.
I also plan on using the various web resources on our wesbsite: http://commons.trincoll.edu/edreform/resources/ct-and-hartford/