The Ethical Teacher in a High-Stakes Testing Environment

Jacqueline Arroyo-Romano, Stephen D. Benigno


Increasing accountability expectations are causing teachers to rectify their responsibilities, to themselves, to their students and to the school administrations in which they work. Teachers have been torn between the responsibility to provide a quality education that reflects their knowledge and their training in their content area and to prepare their students for mandated assessments. State and District mandated assessments can have an impact on the delivery and the content of the curriculum in the classroom. These assessments can be the impetus for teachers to make specific decisions regarding the focus of their instruction and the delivery of their content. Teachers often feel obligated to emphasize the testing information at the expense of the specific curricula content. This adjustment in their curriculum can create an ethical dilemma for the teacher with regard to the emphasis of their instruction and the delivery of their instruction.

Discussed in the manuscript are the perceptions of two teachers regarding curriculum planning and the implementation of the curriculum. The relationship between teacher perception, ethical concepts and the implementation of instruction in the high stakes testing environment were explored in the study. The results of the study indicated that the teachers in the study felt obligated to provide a quality education for their students. However, the results also indicated that the pressures of the mandated assessment did have an effect on the delivery and preparation of their instruction. This decision to compromise created an ethical dilemma for the teachers in the study. 

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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