This study contributes empirical evidence about the negative relationship between test preparation and ambitious mathematics instruction. Drawing on classroom observations and teacher surveys, the study finds that test preparation activities predict lower quality and less ambitious mathematics instruction in upper-elementary classrooms. However, the researchers assert that the magnitudes of these relationships appear smaller than expected. Furthermore, the findings call into question the hypothesis that test rigor can serve as a lever to elevate test preparation to ambitious teaching. Therefore, the researchers assert that improving the quality of mathematics instruction in the midst of high-stakes testing likely will require that policymakers and school leaders undertake comprehensive efforts that look beyond the tests themselves.
Blazar, D., & Cynthia, M. (2017) Does test preparation mean low-quality instruction? Educational Researcher. 46(8), 420-433. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X17732753