Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Velma D. Menchaca

Second Advisor

Dr. Alejandro Garcia

Third Advisor

Dr. Veronica Estrada


The purpose of this study was to explore how the high-stakes testing setting and the state assessments have influenced elementary teachers and other school professionals’ approach to preparing students for standardized tests. Policymakers and the public see standardized tests as simple quantifiable measures of school quality and student learning. They assume that high stakes tests will influence teachers and students to try harder and that the results will be used rationally to benefit all students.

Fredrick Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory was used as a framework for this research. Study participants included nine experienced elementary school educators in a large urban district in south Texas. The research showed that education and instructional triage was occurring, although there was more instructional triage then educational. Teachers are resigned to high stakes testing, therefore assessments drive their instruction, and they define student success by their scores on the tests. High-stakes testing has led to greater accountability and data- driven instruction; however, low-takes testing also creates these benefits without the undue pressure. Future research is essential in light of the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Copyright 2019 Sergio R. Garcia. All Rights Reserved.