Teach to the Student, Not the Test

  • Bonnie Katherine Robinson The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Alicia Dervin The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Abstract

National education reform has led to increased accountability and high-stakes testing in primary and secondary grades. Testing has become a billion-dollar industry in the United States, and many schools have created a culture of teaching to the test while eliminating or reducing instruction of non-tested subjects. Standardized assessments are used to evaluate teachers and schools. However, validity can be questioned when significant gaps in student performance continue to exist between racial subgroups. The purpose of this article is to examine progress made in closing the Black-White achievement gap, by analyzing fourth and eighth graders’ achievement on NAEP assessments from 2005 to 2017. The author suggests reducing the number of standardized assessments and replacing test preparation curriculum with culturally relevant instruction.

Author Biographies

Bonnie Katherine Robinson, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Bonnie Robinson is a National Board Certified Teacher with ten years of teaching experience in elementary school classrooms. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research interests include culturally responsive teacher education programs and teacher recruitment and retention.
Alicia Dervin, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Alicia D. Dervin is a Ph.D. student in the Curriculum & Instruction, Urban Literacy program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism from Winthrop University with a minor in African American Studies. She earned an M.F.A. in Creative & Professional Writing from Converse College, with a particular interest in African American women’s literature. She currently teaches English at Central Piedmont Community College. Her research interests include reading proficiency disparities for students of color, culturally sustaining literature, and Black girlhood/womanhood in literature.
Published
2019-07-03