Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Doug Eury


Standardized testing exists as part of public policy to measure the success of students, teachers, and schools. Ushered in by No Child Left Behind during the G.W. Bush era, testing came with labels for schools which opened the conversation as to whether schools were in crisis or failing. Most of the focus in research on standardized tests has centered on whether the tests were biased, if they were overused, and how they affected teaching and learning. In a comprehensive review, no studies could be found to determine what the public knows about standardized tests based on newspaper reports. This examination is an inductive, qualitative content analysis of articles from four North Carolina newspapers to determine the topics published about standardized testing. The researcher looked at topic, tone on education, tone on testing, word count, page, type of test, sources cited, and rhetorical devices used. The researcher used 300 articles systematically selected from a pool of 1,171 articles published in 1994, 2004, and 2014. The findings suggest most of the stories’ topics dealt with accountability. Other regular topics include scores and testing; curriculum, scheduling, and grading; and funding. The findings also indicate the stories are published in the context of a negative tone towards education and towards testing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.