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Standardized Testing and Teacher Cheating Essay

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In the contemporary American education system high-stakes standardized testing has resulted in a focus on extensive test preparation, as well as a large increase in the numbers of teachers cheating by alternating their students' test scores. Both these phenomena are a direct consequence of the incentives and punishments directly linked to standardized test results.

Many teachers have taken acceptable measures in improving their students’ scores, such as simply “teaching to the test”, and taking class time to teach test taking techniques and procedures often resulting in a significant loss in time for other important standards and benchmarks that are not tested on. Taking a deontologist stance, one would propose that the teachers are merely acting from their duty to help their students succeed, and that if the standardized test is a true reflection of the material a student should have mastered, “teaching to the test” exactly the course a teacher should take. With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 teachers are “implicitly encouraged to reallocate classroom time, because it only requires testing in reading and math in seven grades and science in three” (Phelps) and taking any other form of action would result in failure for the students and the instructor. One can argue that teaching to the test can easily be squashed by changing and rotating test topics between all of the benchmarks and standards teachers are ethically obligated to teach; however, this arises the question, do administrators and educators really want to stop this well adapted to process? This phenomenon places a utilitarian at a conflict of short term versus long term effects and benefits. When focusing on the short term benefits, a utili...


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...2011): 38+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

Smolin, Andrea, and Jennifer Clayton. "Standardized Testing: How Prepared Are We?." Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. 12(4). (2009): 29-36. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

Wiliam, Dylan. "Standardized Testing and School Accountability." Educational Psychologist. 45(2). (2010): 107-122. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

Farah, Yara N. "Through Another's Eyes." Gifted Child Today 36.3 (2013): 209-212. Professional Development Collection. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.

Was, Christopher A. "Standardized Testing: NOT The Root Of All Evil." Psyccritiques 54.23 (2009): PsycCRITIQUES. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Jacob, Brian, and Steven Levitt. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating." Oxford University Press. 118.3 (2003): 843-877. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .


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