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. Elaine Allensworth, a co-director at the consortium and the lead author of “From High School to the Future: ACT Preparation—Too Much, Too Late,” identified two problems: First, devoting so much time to preparation diverts attention from the broad content knowledge that students need to do well on the test. Also, the test preparation that most teachers are doing in the classroom is poor...
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
This from Education Week: