The perceptions of high school educators about the impact of the Massachusetts comprehensive assessment system (MCAS) on instructional practices / John Matthew Harrington.
xii, 201 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
- Local subjects:
- Penn dissertations -- Education.
Education -- Penn dissertations.
Educational and Organizational Leadership -- Penn dissertations.
Penn dissertatons -- Educational and Organizational Leadership.
- Within the national and state contexts of increased anxiety about student achievement and ratcheted accountability for students and schools, high school educators in Massachusetts administer high-stakes tests that determine whether a student will graduate with a high school diploma. Since 2001 Massachusetts high school students have hurdled Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests in mathematics and English language arts. Two years ago, the Massachusetts Board of Education mandated that high school students must pass two additional competency determination tests in science and social studies.
In this qualitative research study I learned from the experience and perspectives of educators who confront the expectations and challenges posed by the MCAS. I collected data by interviewing twenty-one educators at a suburban Massachusetts high school, and I analyzed how these high school educators perceived the impact of the MCAS on instructional practices. I also examined the ways in which they perceive accountability for MCAS performance motivates their work and student work. Furthermore, I assessed the similar and different perceptions of these educators across academic departments and educational roles.
An abundance of research about the intended and unintended consequences of high-stakes testing including MCAS exists. This study, however, addresses the need for research into the ways MCAS impacts educators and instructional practices. It also offers further insights into the ramifications of MCAS testing and informs the curriculum, instruction and assessment decisions of high school educators in Massachusetts.
The study concludes with several recommendations that will assist high school educators as they prepare for MCAS tests, revise curricula, plan instructional strategies, implement assessments and review data.
- Adviser: John A. DeFlaminis.
Thesis (Ed.D. in Education) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
- Local notes:
- University Microfilms order no.: 3374186.
- DeFlaminis, John A., advisor.
University of Pennsylvania.
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