Test prep; high stakes assessments; standardized tests; college admissions
Today's focus on high-stakes standardized tests has had a massive impact on education throughout America, and standardized test preparation is one of the ugly, open secrets of education. Ever since 2001 when President Bush signed into law No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a bipartisan reauthorization of Johnson's landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, students have been bombarded with standardized tests from the earliest grades. Politicians believe these measures are the only way to remedy the perceived weaknesses in the education system because "stringent accountability mandates… [provide] vital levers of change, inclusiveness, and transparency of results" (Education Week, 2011, para. 15). Yet as time progresses, the quantity and importance of the exams increase to such proportions that, by the time students are in high school, their performance dictates whether they will graduate or attend college. While proponents of such exams say that they only test the skills that students ought to be learning anyway, the reality tends to be that teachers start to focus only on the specific questions the test will cover, and thereby lose the ability to provide full, comprehensive education. "Teaching to the test" is the much-maligned experience of most high schools. In order to combat the pressure students feel to perform and teachers feel to shortchange the learning experience, a "Build Your Own Adventure" manual designed around research-based principles demonstrated to improve student learning gains will allow students to focus on the key areas needed to improve test performance, demystify the test itself, and thus help students obtain score improvement. In so doing, students will not only perform better on standardized assessments, but ultimately be able to attend more elite colleges.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education and Human Performance
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic
Holter, Natalie, ""Build Your Own Adventure" ACT Prep Manual: Beating the Odds of High-Stakes Standardized Assessments" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 676.