Published in The American Biology Teacher, Volume 73, Issue 7, September 1, 2011, pages 389-393.
Copyright © 2011 National Association of Biology Teachers .
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/abt.2011.73.7.4.
Mandated biology curriculum standards and standardized tests may vary widely from one state to another, making academic-performance comparisons among the states problematic. This report outlines the effects of the “No Child Left Behind” law and uses California as a test case against which teachers in other states may make comparisons of their own biology curriculum standards and tests. Several sources are cited that offer sample multiple-choice questions that have appeared on previous California standardized tests for sciences/life sciences/biology. These examples, and critique thereof, may help teachers better prepare their own tests to improve student performance in meeting the state's curriculum standards in individual science classes and in mandated statewide tests.