Key Questions

1. Why do districts give tests?

2. What tests do districts give?

3. What do districts do with their test results?

4. How could the ISAT be improved and better meet district needs?


This report is part of a series of special topic reports developed by the Chicago Annenberg Research Project. The study reported here explored the link between different forms of instruction and learning in Chicago elementary schools. The report presents clear and consistent evidence that in Chicago's elementary schools the instructional approach teachers use influences how much students learn in reading and mathematics. It discusses the important relationships which were found between teachers' professional preparation and the presence of key organizational supports within their schools, and their use of the more effective methods. It concludes that efforts to engage all students in deeper and broader thinking about subject matter are a hallmark of 'good teaching', and that Chicago students' achievement could improve further if teachers across the school system were encouraged to achieve a better balance among their use of review, interactive teaching, and didactic teaching practice.