Measuring What You Test Testing What You Intend to Measure

Wade Smith, PhD


Public school teachers across America are supposed to differentiate instruction while simultaneously adhering to a highly scripted curriculum. Teachers routinely comment that they know they are teaching materials that are not retained, but they cannot adjust instruction due to the preset pacing of the curriculum. Adding to this problem is the expectation that teachers will stay on pace to prepare students for end-of-year exams. Understandably, these expectations are a significant contributor to stress incurred by teachers. This paper provides an analysis of these contradictions as well as suggesting a strategy for teachers to use that can provide for differentiated instruction while following highly scripted curriculum.

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