A Test of EthicsÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT Ã¯Â¿Â½5Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½
In the past when news was related to cheating, the focus was usually aimed at students who take tests. Current trends are shifting that focus to those who give tests. Reports and studies related to the teaching profession document actions that range from subtle coaching to blatant manipulation (Cizek, 2003). These practices are seen in every level of education including post secondary education. Since the enactment of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law, teachers and administrators are under intense pressure to increase their schools' test scores (Grow, 2004). With the stakes set so high, a minority of teachers are "reaching to the test" (Posner, 2004), manipulating testing procedures, and sending the wrong message to students.
The majority of educators plays by the book and teach with high moral standards. "teachers spend an incredible amount of time and energy focusing their curriculum on what is tested, and these pressures lead people to do some peculiar things" (Asimou, Wallack, 2007).
At Actis Junior High in Bakersfield, California, seventh-grade teachers altered their lesson plans to cover narrative writing after the principal informed them it would be included on the 2005 writing test (Asimou, Wallack, 2007). In San Diego at Mar Vista High School, an unidentified algebra teacher admitted to tutoring an 11th- grader taking the state math exam (Asimou, Wallack, 2007).
"Teaching to the test" focuses on material that will be on standardized tests. This method of teaching usually results in better test taking skills. However, a rise in standardized test scores does not always reflect improvement in real academic performance. Teaching to the test also narrows curriculum, encouraging administrators, instructors, and students to focus on memorization of isolated facts. This takes away from the development of problem solving abilities, organizational skills, and communication...