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Elementary teachers' perceptions regarding the usefulness of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for improving student learning
Currently, students in Massachusetts are under pressure to pass Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) testing in order to advance to the next grade or to receive a graduation diploma. The major purpose of this research is to determine upper elementary teachers' perceptions regarding the usefulness of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) testing for improving the learning of third, fourth, and fifth grade public school students. Specifically, the research questions that guide this study are: (1) To what extent do upper elementary teachers perceive the WAS test inclusive of important learning being taught in their classroom? (2) To what extent do upper elementary teachers think WAS testing contributes to improvements in student learning? (3) What do upper elementary teachers report to be the positive and negative impacts of WAS testing on curriculum and instruction? (4) Why do upper elementary teachers prefer to continue or eliminate MCAS testing as a means for improving student learning? The schools participating in this study came from 254 randomly selected elementary schools in Massachusetts. A total of 310 third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers were selected from 41 diverse public schools that represented 12 of all 14 counties within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Teacher Perception Survey, which included 66 Likert scale items and the Teacher Perception Interview, which consisted of four interview questions were used to gather data for answering the four research questions. Data for research question one suggest that teachers did not consider MCAS testing to be inclusive of important learning being taught in the their classroom. Data for research question two reveal that teachers do not consider MCAS testing as a major reason for improvements in student learning. Data for research question three imply that teachers' view MCAS testing as having more negative than positive impacts on curriculum and instruction. Data for research question four suggest that teachers' preference for eliminating MCAS testing is more extreme than their desire to keep MCAS testing as a means for improving student learning. Seventy-seven percent of participating teachers indicate a preference for eliminating MCAS testing.
Curricula|Teaching|Educational evaluation|Elementary education
Hungerford, Gregory R, "Elementary teachers' perceptions regarding the usefulness of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for improving student learning" (2004). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3136741.