Publication Date: April 12, 2002
Series: Language and Literacy Series
Do statewide assessments really do what they are supposed to do? Through interviews with over 300 teachers and administrators, Hillocks examines whether state writing tests in Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, New York, and Texas actually improve students’ ability to express their thinking in writing. Ultimately, Hillocks argues that the majority of existing tests actually have a harmful effect on the way students are taught to write.
In addition to providing analyses of assessments that do not encourage good writing, The Testing Trap contrasts them with those that do. Concluding with practical procedures for examining and evaluating writing assessments, this book is a provocative and essential read for administrators, teachers, policymakers, parents, and all who care about the education of our children.
George Hillocks, Jr. is Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. He was awarded the David H. Russell Award from the National Council of Teachers of English for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English for his book Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice.
"A must read for policymakers and educators nationwide. Hillocks provides guidance for more thoughtful ways of approaching testing and school improvement in the coming century. This book is brilliant."
—Sarah Warshauer Freedman, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley
"Hillocks has written an excellent book that demystifies the complexities involved in the testing of writing. The Testing Trap is essential reading for administrators, teachers, and parents."
—Richard Sterling, Executive Director, National Writing Project
"A timely addition to current policy debates. Hillocks' analyses make it clear just how many traps there are in using high-stakes tests to drive curriculum, instruction, and achievement."
— Arthur Applebee, University at Albany, SUNY