High Stakes Testing in Virginia

Presented by: Amanda Davis

What does "high-stakes" testing mean?

What is the "high stakes" test in Virginia?
What makes the test high stakes? To understand this question, we need to understand the test and the standard of the test. According to the Virginia Department of Education, "Virginia has the Standards of Learning which establish minimum expectations for what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in english, mathematics, science, history/social science, technology, the fine arts, foreign language, health/physical education and driver education" ("Virginia Department of Education," n.d.).

What are the legal and ethical implications for teachers administering these tests?

The legal and ethical implication for administering this test include:

Providing students with an appropriate testing environment that will limit distractions

Providing fully trained proctors for test

Monitoring students at all times during a test

Not tampering with students test response
Securing all test materials

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Ethical challenges teachers face when preparing students for SOL test

There are some ethical challenges teacher may faced while administering the SOL test. These challenges include.

Teaching to the test
Coaching students on the correct answers prior to testing
Allowing the use of unauthorized resources during the test

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Should teachers teach the test?

I find it ironic that we state how children all learn different, and we should be able to reach them all the same but in different ways. Then turn right around and give them a test that is "standard" to every child. Therefore, in the case of "do we teach to the test"? Yes, and don't feel bad about it. You are helping your students pass the test that the state has stressed so much. A test that is needed to pass for many different reasons, and judges the teacher on her abilities to teach. If the state did not want you to teach to the test, they would not put such high value on this test and create the standards that go with the test. Teach to the test and to the standard if you are in a public school system that uses "standardized" learning techniques and testing.


Virginia Department of Education. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/index.shtml