K-12 Education: Mandated Tests’ State Scores

Explanation, Important Highlights to Address and Data Relation to Student Achievement


The raw data is about Science mandated test scores for fourth-grade students in California State. The data shows how fourth-grade students in California, United States performed in 2015 compared to the average score of 153 (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). Generally, there was an average drop of 13 points among public school students, and only 24% of students met the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Proficiency. The presented data indicate that white students scored an average of 36 and 32 points higher than African American and Hispanic students, respectively (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). Students registered in free or subsidized lunch (learners in low-income families) posted an average score below unregistered students. Specifically, ineligible learners had an average of 35 points higher than eligible students.

Important Highlights to Address

Mandated tests, especially Science for grade-four students, are critical, but education stakeholders should address potential challenges. The presented data point shows that fourth-grade students in three categories, (1) ethnic minorities, (2) students from low-income families, and (3) female students, underperform in science-based mandated tests. The data also indicate that teacher evaluations based on mandated tests are not accurate since multiple factors influence learning. Non-White students and learners from impoverished neighborhoods are more likely to underperform in standardized tests and hence cannot measure teachers’ effectiveness.

How the Data Relates to Student Achievement

Generally, creativity has become a critical objective within K-12 education globally, forcing teachers to change tactics. According to Bolden et al. (2020), creativity enhances personal wellbeing, promotes economic success, and helps learners engage in rapid and ongoing social change negotiations. The primary objective of the assessment is to allow teachers to evaluate and enhance learning and utilize available information to improve instructional methods (Unal & Unal, 2019). The data indicate reduced learner achievement and deteriorating school success. The average drop of 13 points and 24% of students meeting the NAEP Proficiency show that mandated tests do not focus on student understanding. The summative assessment criteria focus only on evaluative judgments and are not content-oriented (Bolden et al., 2020). The data is compelling teachers or K-12 education stakeholders to change instructional methodologies. For instance, there is a need to diversify summative assessment to help learners demonstrate their learning progress in various ways.

Recommendations for Instructional, Assessment, and Overall Management Changes to Improve Specific Area


Schools should implement intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) to deliver consistent, timely, and scalable instructions. The average drop and reduced NAEP Proficiency recorded might be due to human tutoring inconsistency. Xu et al. (2019) noticed that some teachers do not utilize evidence-based instructions, especially to diverse groups of learners. The computer-based instructional methodology will ensure that students receive immediate, consistent, scalable, and customized feedback to pass mandated tests.

Teachers should also adopt the ‘student thinking capability evaluation’ methodology to determine every student’s intelligence. According to Bolden et al. (2020), teachers should evaluate learners’ school functioning and recommend appropriate summative assessments. The fact is that some students use creativity as an adaptation mechanism while others use creativity as an innovative tool. The instructional change will ensure that teachers have a “common” meaning of creativity to accurately assess female and male students’ creative thoughts.


K-12 schools should ensure that all teachers practice the “3-block assessment” model for learning. The fact is that multi-directional classroom arrangements cause a racial disparity in mandated test results (Bradford et al., 2021). Inclusive classrooms ensure that diverse groups (whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, pacific islanders, and Alaska natives) move in one direction. The assessment method allows teachers to use multiple engagement methods, utilize various representation techniques and express ideas in many ways.

Overall Management

K-12 education stakeholders should ensure that K-12 teachers know the second language (L2) to improve Non-White students’ performance in mandated tests. According to Li and Peters (2020), English language learners and Non-white students have increased in the United States, but ethnic teachers’ background is constant. K-12 school heads should encourage students to get the necessary training to handle non-White students. The management approach will ensure that African American students post good results on mandated tests.

Schools’ management should ensure that K-12 teachers can integrate technology to provide personalized learning. The bottom line is that family income and ethnic line negatively impact learning. According to Hall and Trespalacios (2019), highly adaptive and learner-oriented teaching is based on technology, improving learning experiences. Generally, the approach will ensure that teachers or facilitators understand various problems experienced by students from impoverished neighborhoods and Black students.

Specific Example of an Assessment and a Classroom Management Strategy

Assessment Strategy

Hybrid Summative Assessment Utilizing “Creative” Strategy

Generally, the summative assessment, a mandated test, is not working for fourth-grade students, especially in sciences. Education stakeholders should focus on hybrid assessment utilizing a “creative” strategy. The primary objective of the assessment strategy is to determine factors influencing learners’ and teachers’ creativity. K-12 learning, especially fourth-grade, revolves around creativity; hence there is a need to assess learners’ ability to recognize and perceive creativity (Bolden et al., 2020). The strategy will ensure that teachers understand fourth-grade students’ divergent thinking and link it to science-related tests. The approach will ensure that fourth-grade students are categorized based on the creative capability to limit disparities in standardized tests. According to Bolden et al. (2020), some teachers cannot recognize “creativity” because the construct is under-investigated. Science tests and examiners conceptualize and assess learners differently, which needs to change to improve fourth-grade students’ performance in mandated tests.

Classroom Management Strategy

Using K-12 Teachers Proficient in Behavior Analysis

Generally, fourth-grade students do encounter reading-based issues and display behavior-related problems. Misbehaving students are more likely to cause classroom management problems that require urgent interventions. According to Beasley and Bernadowski (2019), teachers and reading specialists must implement behavioral management mechanisms to de-escalate emerging classroom problems. Science students should be disciplined and organized. The strategy will ensure that K-12 teachers especially grade four, can create authentic situations for seamless classroom management. The strategy will ensure students understand the limitations of classroom-related misbehaviors and indiscipline. In other words, teachers will ensure that students are accountable for their conduct and follow the standards to pass science-based mandated tests.

Additions to Discipline Policy or Expectations

K-12 discipline policy should incorporate the “Teacher as Guide” and “Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs)” sections. The ITSs section should make it mandatory for K-12 teachers to deliver evidence-based learning instructions for diverse groups. The addiction will ensure that all students receive immediate, scalable, and consistent instructions irrespective of the face. The “Teacher as Guide” section should make it mandatory for teachers to deliver precision performance and perform forward rolls to maximize exploration or discovery avenues.

What/Who to Consider for the Additions

The additions require advanced computers, school heads, information and technology officers, and computer literacy among teachers.

  • Advanced computers are meant to run ITSs through various artificial intelligence techniques.
  • School heads are part and parcel of disciple policies because they oversee K-12 schools’ operations.
  • Every K-12 school should have an IT officer or department obligated to make technology-based changes.
  • Computer-related skills are critical for teachers utilizing intelligent tutoring systems to foster learning equality.


Beasley, K. T., & Bernadowski, C. (2019). An examination of reading specialist candidates’ knowledge and self-efficacy in behavior and classroom management: An instrumental case study. Education Sciences, 9(2), 76.

Bolden, B., DeLuca, C., Kukkonen, T., Roy, S., & Wearing, J. (2020). Assessment of creativity in k‐12 education: a scoping review. Review of education, 8(2), 343-376.

Bradford, B., Trudel, L. E., Katz, J., Sokal, L., & Loreman, T. (2021). Promising practices for preparing Canadian teachers for inclusive classrooms: Analysis through a transformative learning lens. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1-16.

Hall, A. B., & Trespalacios, J. (2019). Personalized professional learning and teacher self-efficacy for integrating technology in K–12 classrooms. Journal of digital learning in teacher education, 35(4), 221-235.

Li, N., & Peters, A. W. (2020). Preparing K-12 teachers for ELLs: Improving teachers’ L2 knowledge and strategies through innovative professional development. Urban Education, 55(10), 1489-1506. DOI: 10.1177/0042085916656902

U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). The Nation’s Report Card. Institute of Education Sciences (IES), National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2009 and 2015 Science Assessments.

U.S. Department of Education. (2019). The Nation’s Report Card: Appendix tables for the 2019 science report card. Institute of Education Sciences (IES), National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2009 and 2015 Science Assessments.

Unal, A., & Unal, Z. (2019). An examination of K-12 teachers’ assessment beliefs and practices in relation to years of teaching experience. Georgia Educational Researcher, 16(1), 4-21.

Xu, Z., Wijekumar, K., Ramirez, G., Hu, X., & Irey, R. (2019). The effectiveness of intelligent tutoring systems on K‐12 students’ reading comprehension: A meta‐analysis. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(6), 3119-3137.

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"K-12 Education: Mandated Tests’ State Scores." ChalkyPapers, 15 Apr. 2023, chalkypapers.com/k-12-education-mandated-tests-state-scores/.


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1. ChalkyPapers. "K-12 Education: Mandated Tests’ State Scores." April 15, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/k-12-education-mandated-tests-state-scores/.


ChalkyPapers. "K-12 Education: Mandated Tests’ State Scores." April 15, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/k-12-education-mandated-tests-state-scores/.