High-Stakes Testing Policy in Texas: Describing the Attitudes of Young College Graduates
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe the attitudes of young college graduates regarding the efficacy of high-stakes testing policy in Texas. Although statewide testing results suggest that public school students are showing academic improvement, assessing the effectiveness of high-stakes testing policy should consider more complex factors. This research uses the literature to develop a conceptual framework based on three categories or criteria for determining whether high-stakes testing policy is useful. These categories are student learning, student motivation, and student preparation for college. Methods: This study utilizes survey research to describe the attitudes of young college graduates in Texas. The survey was distributed to college graduates between the ages of 21-28 electronically, through email and the online social networking site, Facebook. Descriptive statistics were then used to analyze the results of the survey. Findings: Results indicate that the cohort of young college graduates surveyed have strong opinions regarding the efficacy of high-stakes testing policy. The majority of respondents disagreed that preparing for or participating in high-stakes testing was beneficial for their learning, motivation, or college preparation. Perhaps the most remarkable finding is that high-stakes testing did not stimulate these former Texas public school students' interest, engagement, or creativity in the classroom.