The tested curriculum consists of that portion of the curriculum over which a student is tested via national norm-referenced achievement tests, state criteria-referenced tests, and teacher-made tests. Teachers may emphasize the tested curriculum to the detriment of the rest of the curriculum, especially because No Child Left Behind, the federal education act of 2002, requires high-stakes testing of all students Grades 3 to 10. These tests are used to rate the school as “acceptable” or “in need of improvement.” Test scores are viewed by many parents, school board members, and politicians as the true assessment of a school's success.

The tested curriculum then becomes the measure of the school's success. Teachers are often encouraged to teach to the goals and objectives of the test rather than ...

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