How can you increase teachers' expectations for themselves and for their students without allowing state tests to dominate the curriculum?
The strong emphasis placed on state assessment has helped schools gain a better understanding of students' levels of proficiency, but has this practice significantly enhanced learning? Test results are usually received late in the school year and are reported in a general fashion, making it difficult for teachers to remediate instruction (Marzano, 2003). Schools can resolve some of the problems associated with state testing through the use of formative assessment. Formative assessment does enhance learning, to considerable degrees, according to some research:
An effect size of 0.7, if it could be achieved on a nationwide scale, would be equivalent to raising the mathematics achievement score of an "average" country like England, New Zealand or the United States into the "top five" after the Pacific rim countries of Singapore, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. (Black & Wiliam, 1998, p. 61)