Public Agenda’s survey of teachers, parents and students, Reality Check 2002, finds widespread support for standards and testing.
Most students say they can handle the testing, and while a strong majority of teachers, parents, professors and employers say they’re worried about “teaching to the test,” only one-quarter of teachers say they’re actually doing it. All groups endorse standardized testing in some form, with one major caveat: majorities in all groups agree that a student’s graduation or promotion should not hang on one test. The groups surveyed report tangible change in other ways. Teachers report that summer school attendance is up, and social promotion is down.
However, the impact of higher academic standards has been mixed.
Few teachers report that schools have been either rewarded or sanctioned based on student performance. Employers and professors also continue to voice considerable dissatisfaction with high school graduates’ basic skills.
Check out Public Agenda’s fact file too.