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No Educator Left Behind:
Using Test Data

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.

Question:

How can annual testing help teachers and principals?

U.S. Department of Education:

Annual testing provides teachers with a great deal of information. For example, overall poor results could indicate that the curriculum needs to be reviewed and aligned with the content upon which state standards are based. Poor results also could mean that teachers need to modify their instructional methods. Another likely indicator of the need for instructional modifications would be if teachers saw poor student performance in certain areas.

Test results also could help teachers clarify those areas in which they might need professional development. Finally, test results provide teachers with a great deal of information about the performance of individual students; information that enables them to meet the particular needs of every child.

Annual tests show principals exactly how much progress each teacher's students have made. Principals can use that information to guide decisions about program selection, curriculum arrangement, professional development, and school resources teachers might need. Tests also show the strengths and weaknesses of students -- in terms of the whole school, various subgroups, and individuals -- and enable principals to make plans that can bolster strengths and address weaknesses.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.

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