Impact of Planned Social Change on American Schools

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Introduction The experiences of educators and students at Tyler Heights Elementary School, as described in the book Tested, point to the unintended side effects of high stakes testing. One of the side effects is that standardized testing has gained national attention for score inflation. That is, the student scores on the standardized high stakes tests are higher than what would be expected, particularly given the base from which the students began. A phenomenon called the Campbell Law of social science illustrates how praxis comes to be influenced by testing, as follows: "The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to maintain" (Campbell, 1975). Fear of low or falling scores is a catalyst for changes in classrooms that much is for certain but those changes are not always desirable Tyler Heights elementary (as reported in Tested able, nor are they changes that will bring students to the learning levels that are the true targets of high stakes standardized testing. A good example of this problem can be seen through an examination of the processes used to teach the students at Tyler Heights to create written answers to a particular item type on the standardized tests. Students were taught to write "brief constructed responses" (BCR) by using a strategy called BATS a formulaic approach to BCR that
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