The authors recently had an opportunity to talk with a group of early childhood teachers who shared some of the stress they were experiencing Over and over, we heard accounts of how the curriculum and daily routines of the students and teachers were being affected by the need for students to reach annual yearly progress (AYP) expectations on standardized tests These teachers clearly understood that high standards were important, and it was clear that these teachers agreed that all children could and must learn; however, the learning environments in their classrooms seemed to have changed negatively. Nichols and Berliner (2007) have suggested that high-stakes testing does have a negative impact on both teachers and students. These authors discuss a phenomenon called Campbell's Law, which states that the greater the social consequences associated with a quantitative indicator (in this case, standardized test scores and AYP), the more likely it is the indicator will become corrupted and result in the corruption of the process it was intended to monitor (in this case, school improvement and student learning). One of the changes that has taken place in many schools has been the increase in engaged time on topics that are to be assessed on high-stakes tests (sometimes referred to as time on task). Obviously, common sense dictates that if we want children to learn a skill, they need time to practice that skill. However, as Woolfolk (2008) and others have noted, spending more time engaged on a task does not guarantee an increase in learning Furthermore, some of what Nichols and Berliner (2007) call "collateral damage" to the curriculum can take place when important activities are removed from the daily routine in order to increase time spent practicing skills or learning information that will be assessed on a high-stakes test.
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