The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess how eighth grade students were feeling about the changes they have been facing due to the increased expectations from the elM. My research in this area was instigated by the studies of Ron Rothman (1996) and P. Sacks (1997). Rothman has studied the development of the elM in other states as well as here in Oregon. Sacks' beliefs about standardized testing are that they cannot be an accurate assessment of students knowledge. Since standardized testing is part of the assessment used for the elM benchmarks it is important to understand what the effects on the students were. - This study took place in a suburban middle school located in the Pacific Northwest. The participants were eighth grade students. Information was obtained through classroom observations, questionnaires, informal and formal interviews. To protect confidentiality, all the participants involved were given pseudonyms. The results from the study showed that the students were feeling anxious about the science assessment, but were not bothered by the higher benchmark standards. In fact several students preferred this form of assessment to the previously employed ones.
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