The Myth of Benchmark Testing: Isomorphic Practices in Texas Public School Districts' Use of Benchmark Testing




Jones, Karen D.

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This dissertation examines the use of benchmark tests in Texas public schools through a quantitative study of 100 school districts using path analysis. The study examines the relationship between a district’s descriptive characteristics and the number of benchmark tests they require. Districts’ descriptive characteristics include district type, accountability status, percent of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, percent of economically disadvantaged students, and percent students of color. The number of benchmark tests a district required was also compared to the percent of students passing the state required 8th grade math and reading assessments. This study found districts with certain characteristics and student populations were more likely to use benchmark tests. This study also found a small, insignificant, and negative relationship between the number of benchmark tests a district required and the percent of students passing the state tests. This suggests the greater the number of benchmark tests required by a district, the lower the percentage of students passing the state test. The results of the study are examined through the lens of isomorphism and rational myths in public education are addressed.



Benchmark test, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Accountability, Standardized tests, Isomorphism


Jones, K. D. (2013). <i>The myth of benchmark testing: Isomorphic practices in Texas public school districts' use of benchmark testing</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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