Avoiding the Gaze of the Test: High Stakes Literacy Policy Implementation
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This qualitative embedded case study documents the policy implementation of literacy assessment in a Texas urban high school, using Foucault’s theory of the panopticon to understand how teaching and learning were shaped by the state high-stakes exit exam. In addition to the strong influence of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test, data also indicated that despite an atmosphere of surveillance, teachers also worked strategically to make room for other types of literacy instruction. This was most visible in English I and II teachers’ commitment to process-based writing instruction focused on real-world text genres.