More information about how to obtain a copy of the report “Research in the High-Stakes Era: Achievement, Resources, and No Child Left Behind,” is available from the American Psychological Society.
A study of 1,450 Virginia secondary schools, published this month in Psychological Science, suggests that students’ scores on state tests may be partly a function of where they live, how poor their classmates are, and whether they have access to competent teachers.
The report’s author, University of Virginia psychologist Peter W. Tuerk, said his work is as notable for its research design as for its results. Using a two-stage process, Mr. Tuerk first found that, compared with other public schools, schools in poorer communities and schools in rural and urban areas tended to have fewer teachers who met the guidelines for “highly qualified” teachers under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. He next determined that passing rates on state-mandated tests given in 8th grade and in high school were lower for schools with fewer qualified teachers.