High-Stakes Testing Policy in Texas: Describing the Attitudes of Young College Graduates




Featherston, Mark Davis

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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe the attitudes of young college graduates regarding the efficacy of high-stakes testing policy in Texas. Although statewide testing results suggest that public school students are showing academic improvement, assessing the effectiveness of high-stakes testing policy should consider more complex factors. This research uses the literature to develop a conceptual framework based on three categories or criteria for determining whether high-stakes testing policy is useful. These categories are student learning, student motivation, and student preparation for college. Methods: This study utilizes survey research to describe the attitudes of young college graduates in Texas. The survey was distributed to college graduates between the ages of 21-28 electronically, through email and the online social networking site, Facebook. Descriptive statistics were then used to analyze the results of the survey. Findings: Results indicate that the cohort of young college graduates surveyed have strong opinions regarding the efficacy of high-stakes testing policy. The majority of respondents disagreed that preparing for or participating in high-stakes testing was beneficial for their learning, motivation, or college preparation. Perhaps the most remarkable finding is that high-stakes testing did not stimulate these former Texas public school students' interest, engagement, or creativity in the classroom.


An Applied Research Project Submitted to the Department of Political Science, Texas State University-San Marcos, in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Public Administration, Spring 2011.


high-stakes testing, Texas, student attitudes, Public Administration


Featherston, M. D. (2011). High-stakes testing policy in Texas: Describing the attitudes of young college graduates. Masters of Public Administration, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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