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MSU professor says "high stakes testing" drives teachers from the profession

Sep 13, 2014

The emphasis on “high stakes testing” in America’s schools may be having an unexpected side effect.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan State University researcher says teachers are citing the testing as their reason for quitting the profession.

Alyssa Hadley Dunn is a professor at the MSU College of Education.  She also was once a high school teacher in Atlanta, Georgia.   

She says she decided to quit after years of pressure to “teach to the test.”     

Dunn says her research shows she’s not alone. She says many teachers who quit the job do so because they feel ‘demoralized” by the testing culture in schools.

“It’s becoming much harder to be a teacher,” says Hadley-Dunn, “Teachers are feeling that they are deskilled or are not being treated like the professionals that they know they are, or can be.”

Dunn says there is a cost to school districts. She says teacher turnover costs American school districts more than two billion dollars a year.