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Unformatted text preview: Roeper Review , 31:40–52, 2009 Copyright © The Roeper Institute ISSN: 0278-3193 print / 1940-865X online DOI: 10.1080/02783190802527364 UROR Paint-by-Number Teachers and Cookie-Cutter Students: The Unintended Effects of High-Stakes Testing on the Education of Gifted Students Paint-By-Number Teachers Tammy Pandina Scot, Carolyn M. Callahan, and Jill Urquhart During the year 2007, national education policy emphasizes the evaluation of students, teach- ers and schools based on students’ test scores. While education professionals at all levels are charged with raising test scores, they are also expected to keep pace with current educational practices. The research presented in this article examines the results of a professional devel- opment program aimed at providing teachers with the most current knowledge of gifted learn- ers and how to teach them. What is the influence of national accountability and high-stakes testing policies on professional development reform efforts? Can teachers enact best-practice teaching and learning strategies honoring the needs of gifted students within the reform movement directives? Paint-by-number kits can be bought in craft stores across the country. The template of a picture is imprinted onto a blank canvas with numbers labeling each open section. Each number represents a paint color, all of which are included in the kit. Anyone who can hold a paint brush can achieve the prescribed picture—just dip your brush, follow the numbers, and stay in the lines! Can teachers be given such a template in order to create picture-perfect test scores? Should they be? If they achieve this goal will they produce cookie-cutter students rather than maximizing the potential of all students? These questions have surfaced in the literature in response to some reform initiatives. Evaluating teachers and students on the basis of test scores is national policy in the year 2007. While education professionals at all levels are charged with raising test scores, they are simultaneously expected to prepare a grow- ing body of diverse learners as 21st-century workers and world citizens. Can educators follow best practices from educational research and honor the differing needs of all students, including the gifted, within the reform movement directives? Or do mandated policies push differentiation for the gifted to the background, emphasizing uniformity, and creating a cadre of paint-by-number teachers and cookie- cutter students? The skills necessary for students to succeed in this era have been consistently identified by various stakeholders in education: multiple literacies in the digital age across genres and disciplines, inventiveness and critical thinking skills, productivity and effectiveness at interpersonal communica- tion and cooperation, and the ability to apply learning to real-world applications and problems (CEO Forum, 2001; North Central Regional Educational Laboratory & the Metiri Group [NCREL], 2003; Partnership for 21st Century...
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2009 for the course EDP 300 taught by Professor West during the Spring '09 term at West Chester.
- Spring '09