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School of Education, The University of Mississippi


State social studies standards are reflective of the concepts of Bloom’s taxonomy, emphasizing the development of higher order thinking skills. Standardized social studies tests, on the other hand, are not reflective of Bloom’s taxonomy and almost exclusively test for memorization and identification. In other words, the standards target very different objectives than the standardized tests are designed to assess. If, then, the central objective is to achieve adequate or higher standardized test scores, we must admit that it is not “standards-based” education that is desired, but rather test-focused instruction.

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