Tuesday, June 03, 2008

ACT Test-Prep Backfiring in Chicago, Study Finds

Check out the full report entitled "From High School to the Future: ACT Preparation--Too Much, Too Late"

Some of the key findings include:

* Low ACT scores reflect poor alignment of standards from K-8 to high school and from high school to college.

* Test strategies and item practice are not effective mechanisms for improving students’ ACT scores.

* ACT performance is directly related to students’ work in their courses.

* Incorporating the ACT into high school accountability is not an effective strategy for high school reform by itself, without accompanying strategies to work on instructional practice.

Christina A. Samuels | Ed Week
May 27, 2008

Hours of drilling on ACT questions in Chicago high schools may be hurting, not helping, students’ scores on the college-admission exam, according to a study released today by a university-based research organization.

The Consortium on Chicago School Research, based at the University of Chicago, found that teachers in the 409,000-student district would spend about one month of instructional time on ACT practice in the core classes offered during junior year. But the ACT scores were slightly lower in schools where 11th grade teachers reported spending 40 percent of their time on test preparation, compared with schools where teachers devoted less than 20 percent of their class time to ACT preparation.

The study examined surveys and test scores of high school juniors in 2005. Teachers were also surveyed as part of the study.
Read On...

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