Louisiana educators at an urban K-5 school participated in a two-year study to share their experiences related to the implementation of a state high-stakes testing program (LEAP 21) that is used to make promotion decisions in grades 4 and 8. Observations, document analysis, and interviews were used to study the development of attitudes, perceptions, and practices related to the use of and consequences emanating from this testing practice. It was found that the state test has far-reaching effects on teaching, curriculum, school climate, students, parents, and school administration. The ideology of testing as a positive reform idea and the practice of testing as a constant and tangible threat, form the two poles of an experiential field that these educators encounter as figure and ground. The avoidance of failure and the threat of failure push these educators toward an ideological commitment to testing.


High Stakes Tests, Accountability, Testing Programs, Academic Achievement, Student Evaluation, and Teacher Attitudes

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.