State-Mandated Student Assessment Systems: Describing the Impacts of Change on High School Teachers
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe the impacts of switching state-mandated student assessment systems on high school teachers. In the spring of 2012, high school teachers in the core subjects of English, math, science and history will administer a new assessment system. It is essential to understand how this transition period will impact high school teachers. This research uses existing literature to develop a conceptual framework based on three categories: morale, turnover, and commitment to assessment. Methods: This study utilizes a survey composed of open-ended and close-ended questions distributed to 52 teachers at a single high school in Leander, Texas. The responses of 11 teachers were attained. The results were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics. Findings: A majority of respondents, eight, agree that teacher morale will be impacted as a result of the new assessment system. Likewise, seven respondents agree that their workload will be significantly increased, and they will not receive adequate support in anticipation of the transition. Overall, respondents describe more positive rather than negative consequences. A total of eight out of respondents also think that the STAAR test will be more aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) than the TAKS test. The most articulated finding is that nine out of eleven respondents believe that the switch to the new STAAR test will significantly impact the amount of pressure they experience as teachers.